Liverpool vs Inter
| Tuesday, March 8th |
Champions League | Anfield
8PM BST / 3PM EST
The grind continues for Liverpool, as they get only three days off following the exerting one-goal win over a combative West Ham at the weekend before having to make sure they secure the bag against an Inter side with nothing to lose.
The Nerazzurri are in a bit of a rut at the moment, with only a single win in their last six matches, albeit a comprehensive and recent one, demolishing Serie A’s bottom side Salernitana 5-0 at the weekend, with Edin Džeko and Lautaro Martínez snatching a brace and a hat-trick, respectively.
Simone Inzaghi’s men did not give a poor account of themselves in the home leg either, although they considerably blunted their own attacking efforts in order to stem the Liverpool tide, but with the away goals rule having been removed this season, they will no doubt fancy their chances of coming out hard, getting a goal and making things interesting.
Nicolò Barella misses out yet again through suspension, while wide danger man Ivan Perišić is struggling with a muscle injury and may be doubtful.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Jones, Milner; Mané, Jota, Salah
The Reds, on their end, are in phenomenal form, having won 12 straight in all competitions, and remaining unbeaten in 15 consecutive games to start 2022, racking up a goal difference of 34-7 along the way.
Joël Matip returns from illness and could be in line for a start alongside Virgil van Dijk, while Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson are likely to retain their spots, although the latter may be rotated out in favour of Kostas Tsimikas in order to rest his legs.
In midfield, Thiago has reportedly returned to full training following his missing out on the League Cup final due to a hamstring issue popping up at the last moment, but whether he’s ready for a starting spot right away is unclear. Jordan Henderson an Fabinho both played 90 minutes at the weekend and it seems likely at least one will be rotated, although which of Curtis Jones, James Milner, Naby Keïta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gets the nod is up for discussion.
Given the troubles Inter caused with their physicality in the first leg, Milner and Jones seem strong contenders, while the somewhat lightweight harvey Elliott will likely be kept in reserve.
Up top, Roberto Firmino has returned to full training, but is unlikely to start given he had missed two whole weeks of practice, and a return to the XI for Diogo Jota seems probable, with Luis Díaz getting a rest. Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah retain their place.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “Two-nil is the lead that has been turned over most often in football. If you are at half-time, two up and think you are already through, then you are already on the wrong path. The [first-leg] result was a lot better than I expected. A really tough tie and difficult game to play.”
Simone Inzaghi: “It will be a difficult game tomorrow, but we are highly motivated. It is important and essential to score a goal in the first half. We know that it will be a very difficult match.“
The Officials (ESP)
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz
Assistant referees: Pau Cebrián Devís, Roberto del Palomar
Fourth official: Ricardo de Burgos
VAR: Juan Martínez Munuera, Guillermo Cuadra Fernández
Kickoff is set for 8PM GMT/3PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.