In less than 24 hours, Liverpool take on Bayern Munich at Anfield in their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg, with the second leg taking place on 13 March 2019 at the Allianz Arena. While Jürgen Klopp awaits positive feedback regarding Dejan Lovren and Roberto Firmino, Bayern Munich are also looking a tad worse for wear in the player department.
FCB Team News
Due to illness, Jerome Boateng was not named in Munich’s travelling squad. However, FCB’s coach, Niko Kovač has indicated that Boateng could possibly still feature, saying, “We’ll have to wait and see - if the doctors say he’s not an infection risk, then he could yet be an option.”
Munich’s forward, Kingsley Coman limped off on Friday with ankle trouble after scoring two goals against Augsburg and Kovač has said, “He’s improving by the hour. Kingsley needs to be completely pain-free. We’re optimistic that the medical team will have him in shape by tomorrow night.”
Further to that, we will definitely not be seeing Thomas Mueller tomorrow as he has been suspended. Arjen Robben has also been ruled out due to an injury to his thigh whilst Corentin Tolisso has a knee injury.
Lastly, Munich’s top scorer is Robert Lewandowski and he has been Bayern’s top scorer in each of the last four seasons - 2017-18 (41), 2016-17 (43), 2015-16 (42), 2014-15 (25) and is currently on 25 goals for the current season.
FCB’s most recent team selection was against Augsburg on Friday and the team that made the starting 11 was as follows: Manuele Neuer, Joshua Kimmich, Mats Hummels, Niklas Süle, David Alaba, Thiago Alcântara, Leon Goretzka, James Rodríguez, Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman, Robert Lewandowski.
Video Assistant Referees (VAR)
In December, UEFA’s Executive Committee approved the deployment of VAR in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League. Where there is evidence of a clear and obvious mistake, VAR may be used by the referee, but only if the situation relates to one of these four incidents:
- Incidents in the penalty area
- Red cards
- Mistaken identity
Jürgen’s Final Say
Klopp believes that the Reds should find the balance between respect and confidence ahead of their clash against the defending Bundesliga champions. Speaking to LiverpoolFC.com, this is what the boss had to say about tomorrow’s night’s game.
It’s a big one, it’s against a really strong opponent and we have to be at 100 per cent. The whole club, the stadium, the crowd, we all have to be at 100 per cent to have a chance. It’s not that I make them bigger than they are; they are really big, one of the biggest clubs in the world. They could be the champions seven times in a row in Germany, which is a big achievement. It’s always a big thing in these games that you show exactly the right amount of respect and not more. That’s what we will do. We have to play our game.
There’s so much talk before these games, in Germany it’s mad how much they speak about the game and they look so positively on us. But they like that, they always make Bayern a little bit smaller than they really are and we are the ‘big favourites’.
Most people who talk about us saw us only two or three times, or the summaries of matches, and see all the goals we score and say: ‘They are really strong.’ Yes, we are really good, that’s the truth. But it’s still a football game. We need the right amount of respect, not a little bit more, and showing we are at home. I’m really looking forward to it.
I always said before these games, and it was always the truth, they will not be decided in the first game. You can create a result that you have to use in a positive way, if you can, in the second leg. Anfield has to play a role in that.
If anybody ever asked about the influence of a crowd, in these games everybody experienced it in specific moments. It’s like pushing us from 100 per cent to 150 per cent. If that’s possible, I think the crowd should give it a try.
No matter where we all find ourselves tomorrow, let us all get behind our Redmen. It is definitely going to be a match to remember.