Premier League giants Liverpool will make the trip to Bayern Munich for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday night.
The two decorated European sides played out a goalless draw in the first leg at Anfield, last month, making tonight’s contest an unmissable encounter.
The two sides have a certain swagger about their style of play. While Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are focused on taking the game to their opposition in any way conceivable, Niko Kovac’s Bayern are more measured and thorough in their approach.
José Mourinho on Bayern v Liverpool: "I see Bayern, in spite of up and down season, I see them now on the up. If I had to choose, I wouldn’t bet on pounds, but if I had to choose I would choose Bayern." [RT] pic.twitter.com/rLEdh7D3B2
— Bayern & Die Mannschaft (@eMiaSanMia) March 8, 2019
Back when the last-16 ties were announced, most of the footballing fraternity picked this fixture as the cream of the crop. In all honesty, the first leg was a bit of a letdown, but there’s a lot more at stake in the return leg at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.
Ahead of the second leg of Bayern vs Liverpool, let’s take a look at look how the teams are approaching the game.
After a patchy start to the campaign, Niko Kovac’s Bayern Munich seem to have finally steadied their ship. They are once again back at the top of the Bundesliga table — ahead of Borussia Dortmund on goal difference — and are fancying themselves to get the better of Liverpool in their own backyard.
In the first leg, Bayern Munich were uncharacteristically defensive. They sat back, soaked up the pressure, and frustrated the hosts all night long. At the Allianz Arena, they are expected to be a lot more aggressive. They recently registered an emphatic 6-0 win over Wolfsburg in Bundesliga, which is bound to give their confidence a hefty boost.
🗣 PEP BACKS BAYERN
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) March 13, 2019
Since beating Borussia Dortmund in the 2012 Champions League final, Bayern Munich haven’t managed to feature in another European Cup final. The stat itself isn’t too abnormal for most clubs, but for a club of Bayern’s pedigree, it’s certainly unacceptable. Beating Liverpool is far from straightforward, but they can’t afford to bow out so in the last-16 stage.
When the fixture of Bayern vs Liverpool was announced, Liverpool were at their peak in the Premier League. But the last few weeks haven’t been that kind on the English side. A string of disappointing results saw them surrender their Premier League advantage to Manchester City, who now have a one-point lead at the top of the table. With only 8 games to play, it’s really not in Liverpool’s hands to win the title.
Having already been knocked out of the FA Cup, the Champions League is the only other trophy Liverpool are fighting for this season. Since the start of the season, many have asked the Reds to bow out early out of the tournament to help their Premier League title bid. Jurgen Klopp, however, has insisted time and again that his boys are well equipped to fight on multiple fronts.
"We can go to Bayern and score goals!"
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 13, 2019
The Reds need a score draw or better to knock Bayern Munich out of the tournament. This time, Liverpool must strike a perfect balance between offense and defense, as they can’t afford to be blindsided by Bayern’s exuberance. Beating the Bavarians in their own backyard is truly a herculean task, but Liverpool’s knack for pulling off the spectacular keeps them firmly alive in the contest.