Liverpool vs Bayern Munich: 3 Key Factors That Could Decide The Result – UEFA Champions League 2018-19
Liverpool face Bayern Munich in a UEFA Champions League round of 16 match tomorrow night in the home of 5 times champions liverpool. Liverpool have qualified for last 16 from a tough group comprising of the likes of Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain. Liverpool are also second in the Premier League table with a match in hand.
On the other hand, Bayern munich have have turned their season around in the last few months, and now they just trail 2 points and are behind league leaders Borussia Dortmund. Bayern Munich are the winners of the group in the Champions League to qualify along with Ajax Amsterdam.
The five time winners Bayern would like to score at least one goal tomorrow, as an away goal could prove to be important in deciding the fate of the tie.
Both these two have won the UEFA Champions League five times, and are considered as the elite clubs of the world. Charismatic Liverpool’s German coach Jurgen Klopp would have a chance of facing the biggest club of his homeland. On the other hand, The current Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac would try to strengthen his reputation by beating a mighty side like Liverpool.
Here, we take a look at the 3 key factors which might prove to be crucial in tomorrow’s match
3. Virgil van Dijk Suspended: Bayern Munich Would Try To Exploit Liverpool Defence
Liverpool are going to miss crucial players in tomorrow’s match at Anfield. Virgil van Dijk was suspended and Joe Gomez will not be available due to injury, and Dejan Lovren is already sidelined with hamstring injury. Therefore, Liverpool would have to field a temporary centre-back pairing of Fabinho and Joel Matip.
Bayern Munich would try to utilize this obvious weakness, and score an away goal or two to put pressure on Liverpool for the return leg in Munich. Robert Lewandowski Bayern munich main talisman has scored 25 goals for this season, and would definitely try to use his aerial skill against the makeshift centre-back pairing Matip and Fabinho.
The younger players like Serge Gnabry and Leon Goretzka would also play a very important role for Bayern Munich, as the responsibility would be on them to exploit the space behind the high pressing Liverpool full-backs. Serge Gnabry is especially good at cutting into the penalty box from the flanks, and should remain a massive worry for Liverpool to deal with.
James Rodriguez would also be crucial in Bayern’s attack, as he would try to attack through the centre and also create many chances in and around the edge of the penalty box.
2. Liverpool Midfield Battle Is Crucial
Liverpool have tried various combinations of players in their midfield this season so far. Apart from less creativity combination of Milner Gini and Hendo every other combination has clicked for Liverpool. It would be very interesting to see which combination the Liverpool boss is going to pick
Gini Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita are expected to start for Liverpool in the midfield. A creative player like Lallana is likely to be benched and more defensive-minded Henderson is going to give protection to the weakened defence in the absence of big Virgil.However, Henderson has a to play as a defensive midfielder in order to give cover to the centre-backs.
Gini is likely to play box-to-box and Keita might move to the flanks at times to provide creativity to Liverpool’s attacks. However, the bench looks strong with the likes of Lallana or Xherdan Shaqiri might come in as a substitute later in the match.
1. The Fast And Pacey Front Three Of Liverpool Is A Massive Worry For Bayern
Mohamed Salah continues to impress chip in goals for Liverpool, as he has already scored 20 goals and 7 assists this season. He would remain a potent threat to Bayern Munich through the right flank, forcing David Alaba to restrain his attacking instincts somewhat. He also switches to the play very central to the penalty area at times, and would test the Bayern centre-backs too.
The Most Underrated player in Liverpool attack, Roberto Firmino has developed a habit playing number 10 position to link midfield and attack with one touch passing skills, while Sadio Mane prefers to roam freely on the left wing and linking the play with Robertson. Bayern’s centre-backs Niklas Sule and Mats Hummels have a tendency to play a high line, against Liverpool if they switch off the play within instance the mighty attack of Liverpool will punish the German side.
Javi Martinez would play a crucial role tomorrow in Bayern’s midfield, and his Midfield battle with Gini is likely to be pivotal in tomorrow’s match. Javi Martinez is a strong tackler and strong in the air too, and would be key player for Bayern in the set-pieces. However, he would have to act as a cover to the defence quite frequently in order to stop fast and pacey Liverpool’s front three.