After a goalless draw at Anfield three weeks ago, Liverpool need a score draw or better to progress to the last eight of the Champions League when they travel to meet Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday (20:00 GMT, live on BT Sport).
Liverpool had the better of the first leg but were unable to force the goal that would have left them in a strong position ahead of the return. As it is, Bayern are now probably the marginal favourites, although Liverpool do now have the away goals rule potentially in their favour.
Bayern have a proud record to uphold in Europe’s premier club competition. They have made the final three times in last decade and reached at least the last four in four of the last five seasons. It is necessary to go back to the 2010-11 season to find the last time they failed to make it past the last 16, a feat they have achieved in nine of the last 10 seasons.
They also come into this match in high spirits after reclaiming the leadership of the Bundesliga for the first time since late September with a 6-0 thrashing of Wolfsburg on Saturday. Goals in the final quarter-hour of the first half from Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski sent them on their way, before further strikes after the break from James Rodriguez, Thomas Muller, Joshau Kimmich and Lewandowski again sealed the triumph.
It was a fifth consecutive victory for Nico Kovac’s side, their 12th in their last 13 in the league and the ninth time during that run that they have scored three or more goals. The result was that they moved ahead of Borussia Dortmund on goal difference at the head of the table with just nine rounds to go, including a potential title showdown between the sides in early April.
Bayern seem to be hitting top gear at just the right moment and while they are perhaps not quite as strong as they have been in other recent campaigns, they remain a team very much capable of eliminating Liverpool on Wednesday.
Liverpool know that a tough task awaits them, not least because they have been having a few problems finding the back of the net on their travels since the turn of the year. Goalless draws away to Everton and Manchester United were preceded by single-goal tallies in a draw with West Ham, a win over Brighton and defeat away to title rivals Manchester City.
Liverpool generally have a very potent attack. They won 4-2 at home to Burnley on Sunday, have scored three or more goals in six of their last seven home matches in league play, and have averaged 2.27 goals per match across the campaign to date. It is not just in the league where away goals have sometimes proved problematic; they failed to score in two of their three away matches during the Champions League group stage.
If Jurgen Klopp has one major concern coming into this match, it will likely be his side’s form on their travels, particularly in Europe. They lost all three of their away group-stage matches, as they did the away leg of their last knockout tie, a 2-4 defeat, albeit after a 5-2 home victory, in the second leg of last season’s semi-final against Roma. In the league, 13 of the 17 points Liverpool have dropped this season have been away from Anfield.
Klopp’s side are, though, starting to get used to tough challenges in the Champions League this season. They made it all the way through to the final last time around, but have certainly not been rewarded with an easy path through this year’s competition. They came out of a group featuring Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain, only to then draw Bayern.
Liverpool also showed enough at Anfield to suggest they will at least be capable of competing on a relatively even footing, particularly with Virgil van Dijk available once again after a suspension ruled him out of the first leg. This is likely to be a match and tie that is decided on fine margins. Liverpool at least have the advantage of knowing that a score draw would be sufficient to see them through via the away goals rule.
Our Preview’s Bayern Munich vs Liverpool Betting Tips Verdict
Given how tightly poised the encounter is, it is difficult to find compelling value either way in terms of the result. What should prove true is that after what is likely to be a fairly cagey opening, with neither side wishing to blink, an opening goal either way will open the match up and provide two potent attacks with further opportunities to score.
- Bet on the second half to be the highest scoring half @ best odds of 21/20 with Betfred.