Bayern Munich v Liverpool, Champions League

A place in the last-eight of the Champions League is at stake in Munich on Wednesday

Will Reilly previews the crucial Champions League Round of 16 2nd-leg tie between Bayern Munich & Liverpool, Weds, 8pm, BT Sport 2

Form:

Liverpool have lost just two of their last 20 matches, winning 13 of them. The trouble is, much as they are unbeaten in their last ten, they have drawn five of those games.

Furthermore, they have failed to score in three of their last five matches, two of those games coming away from home and the other being the 0-0 draw at home to Bayern Munich in the first leg of this Round of 16 Champions League match.

Sunday’s 4-2 win over Burnley will have steadied the nerves, but they will need them to be steady and their minds fully-focussed in order to get the better of Bayern Munich.

After a patchy two-month spell between the end of September and the end of November, Bayern Munich have got their act together. Five-successive wins in the Bundesliga plus the away draw at Liverpool means that their confidence has been restored and, furthermore, they are back on top of the Bundesliga table.

The Match:

Looking and sounding edgy during the press conference after drawing at Everton on March 3rd, Jürgen Klopp must have been pleased to see his team answer their critics by winning 4-2 at home to Burnley on Sunday.

They will be pumped-up in Germany, fully mindful that an away goal would leave Bayern needing two to go through. In short, Bayern must win the match in order to go through. Any draw other than a 0-0 draw would take Liverpool through.

Liverpool will adopt a cautious, space-restricting approach and hope to catch Bayern on the counter-attack.

18 goals in his last 20 starts in (all competitions), which includes four in his last two, means that Robert Lewandowski will approach the match in a confident mood. He remains a huge threat and, with 197 goals, is now the all-time highest-scoring foreign player in Bundesliga history. He reached that notable landmark on Saturday.

Furthermore, Bayern have scored 11 goals in their last two matches. Liverpool will need to on their guard.

Liverpool may be buoyed by the knowledge that Bayern have kept just three clean sheets in their last ten matches, although those three shut-outs have come in their last four matches, including against Liverpool at Anfield.

After spending five matches on the bench, Thomas Müller has started the last two games so looks to be back in favour – and form – at an appropriate time for Germany’s greatest-ever club. He was angered at being informed that he is not required now by the national team and this may well have helped to galvanise him.

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Team News:

Corentin Tolisso (knee) looks set to return at the end of March. Kingsley Coman (muscle injury) is expected to be fit for Wednesday’s game. Aajen Robben (calf) is not expected to return until the end of March. Tomas Muller remains suspended from European action.

Joe Gomez (fractured leg) is edging closer to a return but will not be available for this match. James Milner has travelled with the squad following a muscle injury. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain picked up a muscle injury in his comeback game following a serious knee injury so is still unavailable. Adam Lallana started against Burnley on Sunday but is unlikely to start on Wednesday.

Verdict:

Bayern are looking strong at the moment and recent results, plus their return to the top of the Bundesliga and the fact that they gained a fairly comfortable draw at Anfield in the first leg, will see them approaching this game with confidence.

Liverpool are strong themselves and will certainly not lack for determination and resolve in Munich.

They will need to defend extremely well from back to front in order to get the result they require in what will be a very intimidating atmosphere in the Allianz Arena.

It’s head over heart time and Bayern Munich have to start as strong favourites. A scoreline of 2-1 (15/2) or 3-1 (15/1) is suggested.

Bayern Munich are 11/10 to win in 90 minutes.

Both teams to score in 90 minutes at 4/6 is also recommended.

It is a ‘Double The Odds On First Goalscorer Bets’ match with us.

 



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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article