Bayern Munich vs Liverpool
This is one of more interesting round of 16 matches which expectedly failed to bring resolution in the 1st leg. Liverpool and Bayern played a goalless draw at the Anfield and the result naturally gives advantage to the Bavarians but doesn’t strip Liverpool of realistic chance to win. Liverpool played better in the first part of season, while Bayern seems like it just woke up and plays as it supposed to and that is reason for their optimism. It is interesting that both teams are locked in dead heat for the title in their respective national championships.
If Bayern deliberately peaked its form it didn’t with extreme accuracy. The is part of season when the Bavarians play the best and result of it is return to the first place in the league table, although they don’t have point advantage over Borussia Dortmun. Instead, they had palpable backlog that they annulled and right now Bayern has psychological advantage. They will face the team from Dortmund at home in three rounds and many things will be clearer then. Right now the Bavarians have five-game winning streak in the league, where last two were very impressive.
We had expected to see such matches from the reigning champion of Germany for larger part of season but nevertheless they scored even 11 goals against strong Borussia M’gladbach and Wolfsburg and received just one. They won in Monchengladbach by 5-1, while Wolfsburg returned from Munich carrying back new six goals on its account. The Champions League is something else entirely and Liverpool is definitely far more difficult rival. It is a problem that Kimmich and T. Muller cannot play and instead Rafina and Ribery go on the pitch, while Alaba is questionable.
Probable lineups Bayern Munich: Neuer – Rafinha, Sule, Hummels, Alaba – J. Martinez, Alcantara – Gnabry, J. Rodriguez, Ribery – Lewandowski
Liverpool’s situation is opposite of Bayern’s as they were the one who had occupied the first place in the English championship. They run out of steam recently and Manchester City used that so right now the Reds are second and have one point fewer, although they have full right to hope to finally win the title. They would quite surely sign in advance elimination by Bayer if that would help to win the English Premier League, and many are of opinion that Liverpool cannot sustain playing on two fronts.
Defeats are not Liverpool’s problem but large number of draws, as Liverpool lost just once in the Premier League this season but drew even four times in seven previous rounds, where the last two ended by the most unpopular result 0-0. The 1st leg with Bayern ended with the same result after match in which they failed to dominate the pitch. They need to score now, which is something they struggle to do recently outside their stadium. They still have the same problems with injuries that prevent Lovren, Gomez and Oxlade-Chamberlain to join the team.
Probable lineups Liverpool: Alisson – Alexander-Arnold, J. Matip, van Dijk, Robertson – Henderson, Wijnaldum, Fabinho – M. Salah, R. Firmino, S. Mane
The 1st leg showed that Bayern has tactic for Liverpool and they demonstrated it at the Anfield. Now, they will play at home and we expect to dominate as they are in very good shape unlike the guests who oscillate too often. Liverpool is more focused on the Premier League and having all this said we give advantage to the home team.