Liverpool have earned the right to be feared, says Gerrard
Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard says the Reds have "earned the right to be feared" ahead of their crunch Champions League semi-final first-leg clash against Roma.
Jurgen Klopp's men outplayed Premier League champions Manchester City in the quarter-finals to secure a 5-1 aggregate triumph, and only Eusebio Di Francesco's men stand between them and May's final in Kiev.
Gerrard, who famously captained Liverpool in their comeback against AC Milan to lift the trophy in 2005, believes that Liverpool's impressive performances in Europe this season meant they were the team to avoid in the last-four draw.
"I think Liverpool have earned the right now to be feared," he told Roma TV.
"Out of the four teams, Liverpool were the team that none of the other three teams wanted to face because they're a very difficult team to stop."
Liverpool have scored 33 goals so far in this season's competition, a record for an English team, and Gerrard is backing Klopp's men to replicate the performance they showed in the first leg against City, where they raced into a 3-0 lead before half-time.
"I think Liverpool will come out with a high tempo at Anfield and really try to play at a speed to take Roma out of their comfort zone," he said.
"I think Roma's style and the Italian style is more technical and more at a different pace, whereas Liverpool's main strength is speed and movement and a high-tempo, pressing game with the fans behind them.
"I think the big challenge for Roma is can they control that? Have they got the players to control that?
"You need little bits of luck over the two games. I think the big, important game is actually the first leg. When they [Liverpool] get in front, they're quite good. I think Roma have to stay in the game for the second leg."