Champions League Preview: Liverpool vs Bayern Munich
Following their previous win over Bournemouth, Liverpool go into their Champions League encounter with German giants Bayern Munich in a much happier frame of mind.
Prior to the weekend, Liverpool had to contend with unfair media cynicism after two frustrating Premier League draws against Leicester City and West Ham.
Seeing the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum and Trent Alexander-Arnold return from injury against Bournemouth would have been a huge boost to boss Jurgen Klopp.
Wijnaldum also marked his comeback with a fine lobbed finish.
Whilst, Alexander-Arnold offers Liverpool so much going forward, his value to the team has been shown during his absence.
However, Klopp may not risk TAA from the start against Bayern and may prefer to gradually build the youngster’s fitness game by game.
Central defender Dejan Lovren is still out along with Joe Gomez.
Having missed the victory over Bournemouth and seeing forward Mo Salah mimic his goal celebration in comical fashion, Xherdan Shaqiri will be keen to face his former club.
Shaqiri will hope to overcome the slight abdominal strain he suffered last week.
As for Bayern, their main injury concern is goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer who has passed himself fit to play.
However, manager Niko Kovac is unlikely to gamble on his fitness.
The Germans have no other major injury concerns ahead of the Champions League showdown.
The match represents a welcome break for Liverpool from their excursions in the Premier League.
Manchester City are currently top on goal difference, having played a game more than Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Liverpool’s game in hand is against an in-form Manchester United at Old Trafford on the 24th February.
Bayern, are currently second in the Bundesliga, five points off Dortmund.
The last time Liverpool and Bayern locked horns was in pre-season of August 2017, as Jurgen Klopp’s side comfortably won 3-0 with goals from Sadio Mane, Daniel Sturridge and Mohamed Salah.
Liverpool fans will be hoping for a similar outcome, although the stakes are considerably higher in Europe’s elite competition.
A win against Bayern however, would be the perfect morale booster as the title chase enters its climax.