Liverpool vs Bayern Munich: What to expect from Champions League first leg Anfield meeting

Liverpool FC v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

Liverpool hope to go one better in this season’s Champions League after Real Madrid beat them in the final at the end of May last year.

Jurgen Klopp’s side take on Bayern Munich for a place in the quarter-finals, knowing their opponents are turning their season around after losing ground to Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund.

The Reds have had a week-and-a-half to prepare for this last-16 first leg at Anfield since they recorded a 3-0 home win over Bournemouth in the league.

Niko Kovac’s side, who were knocked out of last season’s competition at the semi-final stage by Real, had to twice come from a goal down to eventually win 3-2 at Augsburg in the league on Friday night.

We take a look at how both sides are shaping up ahead of the tie.

Liverpool to win

It is hard to see Liverpool losing at home, especially with the supporters expected to make it another special night at Anfield.

The Reds have lost just one of their 17 home games in all competitions this season when Chelsea beat them 2-1 in the Carabao Cup.

Before that, West Brom were the last team to beat them at Anfield in the fourth round of last season’s FA Cup, a competition that has not been kind to Klopp, with Wolves knocking them out in the third round this season.

Liverpool FC v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

That early exit may be a blessing in disguise for the Reds who will hope their free weekend ahead of this fixture will give the players an edge over their opponents.

Liverpool’s away form in the Champions League this season has been poor, with three defeats from three, which is why a win at Anfield is seemingly essential if they are to progress to the quarter-finals.

Salah to be anytime scorer

It is no surprise that Mohamed Salah is his side’s leading scorer in Europe this season with three goals.

And the Egyptian forward will be keen to add to the 11 goals he has in his last 13 games, including one of the three against the Cherries in their last league game.

Salah has unfinished business with the Champions League after being forced out of last season’s final with a dislocated shoulder following a clash with Sergio Ramos.

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The 26-year-old scored 11 goals on the Reds’ run to the final and his goals will be pivotal for Liverpool if they are to get back to the final this season.

Level at half-time

With so much at stake, expect a cautious approach from both sides who do not want their place in the quarter-finals jeopardised by a defeat in the first leg.

Bayern came through their six group stage fixtures without trailing at half-time – leading four times and being level the other two times.

Liverpool were behind twice in their group games at Red Star Belgrade and Paris St Germain and were unable to prevent defeat in both games.

It may take 45 minutes for both sides to settle into the game, which is why we think the scores will be level at the break.

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