Liverpool v Bayern – Anfield at 20:00 GMT

A massive showdown is about to take place at Anfield on Tuesday night. European giants Liverpool and Bayern Munich will take on each other in what is probably the most anticipated Champions League face-off.  The last-16 first leg clash will be the first ever encounter of these two teams. Both sides are currently seated at the second spot in their respective domestic leagues. Liverpool will be entering this match looking forward to repeat last season’s achievement of proceeding to the final, while Bayern will continue their journey to claim their first European crown since 2013.

Jurgen Klopp has quite a history with Bayern Munich and will definitely be extra gritty to come out successful in this knockout match. Apart from this, Liverpool will be aiming to bounce back from their consecutive draws that led to them slipping behind Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title. Their group stage campaign wasn’t a crushing accomplishment though, losing half of their matches including the fixtures against PSG and Napoli. Liverpool will also without Virgil Van Dijk after acquiring suspension for his yellow card against Napoli, which could be a factor in deciding who will come out successful on Tuesday.

Bayern Munich, on the other hand, aren’t exactly having the grandest season in their history. The German heavyweights are currently lagging behind Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, though their gap has already been reduced to only 2 points. Most of their challenges came during the start of the season. Their 3-2 victory against Ausburg recently made their record to 10 victories in 15 of their league fixtures but their 4-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen showed that they aren’t quite functioning like they once were. They will be a tough test for Liverpool though, so expect an entertaining and thrilling match between these two.

LATEST NEWS

–          Virgil Van Dijk is suspended after acquiring a yellow card against Napoli.

–          Joe Gomez is recovering from a surgery after suffering a fractured leg at Burnley in December.

–          Xherdan Shaqiri is currently dealing with a minor abdominal complaint.

–          Corentin Tolisso has been unavailable since September due to a torn ACL.

–          Arjen Robben has been suffering from a persistent thigh injury and has been out since November.

–          Thomas Muller is also suspended after obtaining a yellow card.

PROBABLE FORMATION & STARTING XI

Liverpool: 4-3-3

Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Fabinho, Andrew Robertson, James Milner, Naby Keita, Georginio Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane

Bayern: 4-3-3

Manuel Neuer, Joshua Kimmich, Mats Hummels, Niklas Sule, David Alaba, Leon Goretzka, Thiago Alcantara, James Rodriguez, Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry, Robert Lewandowski

KEY PLAYERS

Liverpool

Sadio Mane has a knack for notching crucial goals and has managed to score in each of his previous four games with Liverpool and is currently just behind Mohamed Salah in Liverpool’s top goal scoring charts for this season.

Mo Salah tops the goal-scoring charts for Liverpool and is currently leading the race for the top goal-scorers for this season’s Premier League.

Bayern

Leon Goretzka has been an important part of Bayern’s central midfield, often playing in tandem with Thiago Alcantara. Goretzka has the ability to score goals and select key passes for his team.

Robert Lewandowski has been Bayern Munich’s top scorer in each of the previous four seasons. He has a natural sense of positioning , awareness, and has the ability to finish with either right or left foot.

MATCH PREDICTION

Liverpool v Bayern: 2-2

A draw seems to be on the cards for Tuesday’s match between these two top-ranked teams. Both teams are currently seated at the second spot in their respective leagues. The Reds are currently struggling to get their players back to full fitness; however, the German reigning champions are also having some struggles in their own right. Liverpool won all of their three fixtures at home in the group stage, including their tie against PSG, but Bayern are slowly coming back to their winning ways. Nico Kovac’s men could also take advantage of the fact that the Reds’ key player Virgil Van Dijk is suspended after obtaining a yellow card from their last match against Napoli.

MATCH BETTING ODDS*Prices are correct at the time of writing.

By @EliaasMJ

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