UEFA Champions League 2018-19: Short-handed Liverpool hope to spring upset when they host inconsistent Bayern Munich
Two European juggernauts are set to collide at Anfield in the Round of 16 in the Champions League. Last year’s runners-up, Liverpool, will host the German powerhouse Bayern Munich in the first leg. Both teams sit in the second position in their respective domestic leagues which makes it all the more exciting.
The home side have been dealt a huge blow, with star defender Virgil Van Dijk suspended for the game. His absence would mean a lack of leadership on the pitch for the Reds. Joe Gomez is also ruled out due to injury, while Dejan Lovren is a doubt as well. The Liverpool manager needs to find a way to rectify the issues in the backline which the Germans will be looking to exploit.
Bayern Munich have injury woes of their own ahead of this crunch contest. Arjen Robben and Corentin Tolisso have been ruled out of the first leg due to their respective injuries. Jerome Boateng too is set to miss the trip to Liverpool having been omitted from the matchday squad.
The German champions will also miss the services of the suspended Thomas Muller. Niko Kovac has been under the pump for quite a while, and this trip to Anfield is very important for their European ambitions this season.
The stage is set for another Champions League classic with two attacking powerhouses battling it out in the Round of 16. The Reds have the home advantage in their favor, while the Germans will come out all guns blazing to try and score an away goal or two.
Date: Wednesday, 20 February 2019
Time: 01:30 AM IST
Venue: Anfield, Liverpool
League: Champions League
Live Telecast: Sony Network
Online Streaming: Sonyliv (Website, App)
Recent form (Last six matches)
Liverpool – L W W D D W
Bayern Munich – W W L W W W
Joe Gomez remains on the treatment table due to an ankle injury, however, Xherdan Shaqiri could feature in the playing 11 against Bayern Munich.
Van Dijk will miss this crucial game as the Dutchman picked up three yellow cards in the group stage and will have to serve a one-game ban.
Lovren remains doubtful and Fabinho is expected to replace him to partner Joel Matip at the back.
Thomas Muller will miss out due to suspension, while Robben and Tolisso have been ruled out with injuries.
Kingsley Coman remains a doubt for this fixture, while Jerome Boateng has been left out of the squad.
Liverpool: Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah
Bayern Munich: Roberto Lewandowski, Joshua Kimmich, James Rodriguez
Probable Playing XI
Liverpool – Alisson (GK), Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Fabinho, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Keita, Salah, Firmino, Mane
Bayern Munich – Neuer (GK), Kimmich, Sule, Hummels, Alaba, Martinez, Thiago, Gnabry, James, Ribery, Lewandowski