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Updated: 37 min 39 sec ago

Jordan Henderson injury update

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 22:32

Jordan Henderson suffered a twisted ankle during Liverpool's Champions League victory over Bayern Munich.

The Reds' captain was forced off 13 minutes into his side's 3-1 win in the last-16 second leg at the Allianz Arena.

And, speaking post-match, Jürgen Klopp confirmed that Henderson sustained an ankle injury.

"It's a big night with a little shadow that is Hendo's twisted ankle," the boss said.

"It's Hendo so he's a hard one, but we have to see, of course. It looks hopefully not that serious but for tonight we had to change.

"That's always a bad sign for a game, when you have to change early. We trained with him there in that position - we wanted to, not to rest Fabinho, but we wanted to bring in fresh legs and Hendo had fresh legs but unfortunately that didn't help with the ankle."

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Liverpool's possible CL quarter-final opponents

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 21:57

There are seven possible opponents for Liverpool when the Champions League quarter-final draw is made on Friday March 15.

The Reds booked their place in the tournament’s last eight with an outstanding 3-1 triumph over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night.

Jürgen Klopp’s side will discover their next opponents when the draw for the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final takes place in Nyon at 11am GMT on Friday.

There are no seedings, and country protection is not in force, meaning Liverpool can be paired with any of the other remaining seven teams.

Ajax
FC Barcelona
Juventus
Manchester City
Manchester United
FC Porto
Tottenham Hotspur

The two legs of the quarter-finals will be played on April 9/10 and April 16/17.

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Match report: Reds beat Bayern to seal CL quarter-final spot

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 21:56

Liverpool surged into the Champions League quarter-finals with a classy 3-1 win over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

Sadio Mane scored in each half, sandwiching a towering second-half header by Virgil van Dijk, to tip a last-16 tie that was in the balance following a goalless first-leg draw at Anfield three weeks ago firmly in the Reds' favour.

Joel Matip's own goal meant the sides went in at half-time level following Mane's superb opener.

But when Van Dijk's first Champions League strike for the club arrived in the 69th minute, the outcome was all-but assured. 

Mane then applied the finishing touch to a European night to savour in the closing stages, with Liverpudlian sights now trained on Friday's draw for the last eight.

Team news

Jürgen Klopp elected to make two changes to his starting line-up. Jordan Henderson and James Milner were included, with Fabinho and Adam Lallana making way for the skipper and vice-captain.

Henderson’s evening lasted just 13 minutes, however, with an apparent foot injury forcing the midfielder to be replaced by Fabinho.

First half

A cagey opening was perhaps the product of two teams content to feel their way into a still, cold evening in Munich with an element of caution given the stakes and quality of their opponents.

The first sight of goal was Bayern’s and arrived in the ninth minute courtesy of Roberto Firmino’s risky pass across his own goal. Thiago Alcantara read the No.9’s intention and curled a first-time shot over the crossbar from 20 yards.

Robert Lewandowski’s appeals for a penalty following a coming together with Van Dijk in the area were waved away by referee Daniele Orsato, before Henderson - who had earlier received treatment on his foot - decided he could not continue.

With Trent Alexander-Arnold marshalling Franck Ribery - the hosts’ favoured attacking outlet in the early stages - well with assistance from Mohamed Salah, Liverpool grew into the game and saw a Firmino snapshot whistle wide of the post just prior to Mane opening the scoring in quite brilliant fashion.

Van Dijk arrowed a pass into the in-form forward’s vicinity and, after an exquisite first touch, Mane deceived Manuel Neuer and clipped a gloriously cool left-footed finish past the retreating Rafinha and into the net.

The roar that greeted Mane’s moment of inspiration rolled down from the away end up high in the Allianz’s opposite corner, its intensity a clear indicator of the strike’s significance.

All of a sudden, the Reds were the match’s protagonists and Neuer had to beat away Andy Robertson’s vicious shot at the end of a rapid counter.

But Bayern quickly regained their foothold and equalised with six minutes of the half remaining.

Serge Gnabry freed himself from Robertson and sent in a low cross from the byline that, with Lewandowski ready to tap into an empty net immediately behind him, Matip had little choice but to deal with.

Unfortunately for Liverpool, the centre-back’s touch sent the ball into the bottom corner and the home team were level.

Second half

The Reds’ surety was not shaken by that setback, though, and Salah blasted a shot straight at Neuer from distance as the rain began to fall in the early stages of the second period.

Alert defending from Matip distracted Lewandowski as the striker attempted to get on the end of another low delivery from Gnabry - and soon after, his defensive partner effectively settled the tie at the other end.

Milner’s outswinging corner was on the money and there was Van Dijk, rising above everyone and planting a powerful downwards header into Neuer’s bottom corner.

Bayern then had no option but to commit men forward - and that merely played into Liverpool's hands.

With a shade more ruthlessness, the Reds would have scored a third before Mane's 10th goal in his last 10 appearances - a fine, back-post header from Salah's cross - but that mattered little as Klopp's side marched on to the last eight in hugely impressive style.

Match stats

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Listen live: Free commentary on Bayern v Liverpool

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 19:45
Never miss a moment of the action with LFCTV GO.

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Team news: Confirmed Liverpool line-up v Bayern Munich

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 18:44

Liverpool make two changes for this evening’s Champions League last 16, second-leg clash with Bayern Munich in Germany.

James Milner and Jordan Henderson are recalled to the starting line-up at the Allianz Arena, with Fabinho and Adam Lallana dropping down to the bench.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Milner, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Mane, Salah, Firmino.

Subs: Mignolet, Fabinho, Lovren, Sturridge, Lallana, Shaqiri, Origi.

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Liverpool FC Fantasy Manager 2019 has arrived

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 16:08

A new edition of Liverpool FC Fantasy Manager for 2019 is now available to download – with added fun and excitement including monthly rankings.

The bonus feature means all actions in the game will give you points that go towards your ranking position: the more points you get, the better the reward at the end of the month.

Ready for lots of fun? Fancy your chances against thousands of rivals from around the globe?

It’s your team, your club, you’re the boss – sign, train, challenge and win by downloading the official Liverpool FC Fantasy Manager 2019 app for free on iOS or via Google Play.

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Hendo and Trent named in latest England squad

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 14:01

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson have been named in the England squad for two Euro 2020 qualifying matches this month.

The Liverpool pair are part of Gareth Southgate’s latest selection to tackle Czech Republic at Wembley and Montenegro away from home.

The games will be played on Friday March 22 and Monday March 25 respectively.

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Pick up your LFC Women's programme v Chelsea

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 11:00

Liverpool FC Women host Chelsea FC Women in the Women's Super League at Prenton Park tonight - make sure you pick up an official programme if you're heading to the game.

Kick-off is at 7pm GMT and the official matchday programme will keep you informed and entertained with all the latest Reds news.

Today's issue features an exclusive interview with cover star Kirsty Linnett who talks us through her season so far and looks ahead to the clash with the Blues.

Elsewhere, we speak to Kirsty's fellow forward Rinsola Babajide who reflects on scoring her first goal on home soil for the club last time out against Millwall Lionesses.

We also hear from attackers Jess Clarke and Niamh Charles after they signed new contracts with the club and, staying on the strikers' theme, we highlight ex-Red Natasha Dowie's exploits Down Under with Melbourne Victory.

Meanwhile, manager Vicky Jepson offers her thoughts going into the clash and skipper Sophie Bradley-Auckland gives us the lowdown from inside the dressing-room in her regular captain's column.

There is the lowdown on our visitors from the capital as well as all the latest match action, facts and statistics.

With all this and much more, make sure you pick up your copy of the official matchday programme which will be on sale inside the ground, priced at £2.

Season ticket holders for Liverpool FC and Tranmere Rovers, as well as LFC Members, can gain free entrance to the fixture.

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Missing Men: Bayern Munich 2001

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 10:46

John Arne Riise scored his debut goal for Liverpool and set his new club on the way to a 3-2 win over Bayern Munich in the Super Cup final in August 2001, but can you name the rest of the starting XI from that day?

Gerard Houllier's Reds qualified for the showdown of European champions at the Stade Louis II in Monaco having lifted the UEFA Cup as part of their treble-winning season, while Ottmar Hitzfeld's Bayern had beaten Valencia to win the Champions League final in Milan.

Opposition goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, who saved three Valencia penalties in the San Siro shootout to help land the trophy, had been named European Goalkeeper of the Year at a ceremony in the principality a day earlier but could do nothing to prevent Liverpool racing into a 2-0 half-time lead.

Riise, a summer signing from AS Monaco, opened the scoring on his former club's ground after 23 minutes when he turned in Michael Owen's low cross at the far post.

Emile Heskey doubled the lead just before the break by beating two defenders on the edge of the box and coolly dinking a left-foot finish over Kahn.

The irrepressible Owen made it 3-0 just 13 seconds after the restart when he raced onto a long ball into the area and tucked a shot into the far corner of the net.

The Germans hit back through Hasan Salihamidzic and Carsten Jancker to make it 3-2 but the Reds held on to lift the Super Cup for the second time in the club's history.

Riise, Heskey and Owen got the goals, but who else made up the starting XI against Bayern? Can you fill in the Missing Men below?

Click the Next button below to reveal the Missing Men...

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LIVE: Build-up to Bayern v LFC in the Champions League

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 10:00

Reds name 21-man squad

A 21-man Liverpool squad made the journey to Munich on Tuesday afternoon, flying out from Merseyside in the late afternoon, with Naby Keita a notable absentee due to a minor injury.

Reds squad: Fabinho, Van Dijk, Wijnaldum, Lovren, Milner, Firmino, Mane, Salah, Alisson, Henderson, Sturridge, Moreno, Lallana, Mignolet, Shaqiri, Robertson, Origi, Matip, Phillips, Kelleher, Alexander-Arnold.

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Bayern Munich v Liverpool: Three key battles

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 09:08

A place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League is at stake when Liverpool face Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night.

The European heavyweights drew 0-0 at Anfield in the first leg of their last-16 clash, meaning any margin of victory or a score draw will send the Reds through.

We've picked out three key battles that could help decide the finely-balanced tie in Germany...

Robert Lewandowski v Virgil van Dijk

Robert Lewandowski 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 his brace in the weekend's 6-0 thrashing of Wolfsburg saw the Polish striker set a new record as the top foreign goalscorer in Bundesliga history.

The former Borussia Dortmund forward has now scored an incredible 196 goals in the German top flight to overtake 40-year-old Peruvian centre-forward Claudio Pizarro, who is now in his 20th season in the Bundesliga.

Lewandowski, 30, is a classic No.9 and conducts most of his business in and around the box, where his natural sense of positioning, awareness and deadly finishing with either foot, or aerially, make him prolific.

Successfully shackled in the 0-0 draw at Anfield, the 6ft 1in forward had just 34 touches - the fewest of either set of starting players - as Bayern adopted unusually defensive tactics, but at the Allianz Arena the home fans will expect their side to provide much better service to their star man.

Seeking to help eliminate the threat of Lewandowski - the leading scorer in the Champions League this season with eight goals - will be Liverpool's defensive colossus Virgil van Dijk, who last week scooped the club's Standard Chartered Player of the Month award.

The Netherlands skipper has played more minutes than any other outfield player for the Reds this season and has helped keep 19 clean sheets in 36 appearances in all competitions.

Tough in the tackle, imperious in the air and calm with the ball at his feet, the centre-back is a talismanic figure in the back four and returns from suspension fully focused on his mission in Munich.

"You need to be aware of the qualities of every striker you face, as I always am, but sometimes you need to be smart and more than 100 per cent ready for anything," he told UEFA.com.

James Rodriguez v Fabinho

Fabinho was pressed into service at centre-back in the first leg at Anfield after a series of injuries and the suspension of Van Dijk depleted Liverpool's defensive options, but the midfielder acquitted himself exceptionally well.

Bayern failed to muster a single shot on target for the first time in the Champions League since the semi-final first leg at Barcelona in 2015.

Fabinho will seek to transfer that defensive diligence into his more natural position in midfield. Starting at the base of Jürgen Klopp's central three in each of Liverpool's last six Premier League games, the Brazil international has helped screen a defence that has let in just three goals in that time. 

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Bayern's James Rodriguez is likely to be in direct competition with LFC's No.3, with the Colombia international expected to provide the creativity in front of a double-pivot of Thiago Alcantara and Javi Martinez.

The 27-year-old set up three shooting opportunities for his colleagues in a game of few chances at Anfield and has provided two assists and a goal in his last three Bundesliga outings.

The on-loan midfielder has played a pair of Champions League group games against Liverpool before, with parent club Real Madrid in 2014-15, and though he is yet to score against the Reds, he is also yet to see a goal scored against his side in three attempts.

Rafinha v Sadio Mane

Joshua Kimmich's booking at Anfield means the highly-rated right-back, who is so integral to Bayern's style, will be suspended for the second leg in Munich. Stepping into the talented German's boots will likely be Rafinha.

The 33-year-old Brazilian is considered a reliable replacement having provided cover at full-back for the likes of Philipp Lahm and David Alaba during his eight years at the club.

Strong on the ball and an excellent passer, the versatile veteran has featured 19 times this season and played the full 90 minutes of Bayern's 6-0 win over Wolfsburg.

Now in his 14th season of European football, the 2012-13 Champions League winner may well have to call on every ounce of experience to deal with the threat of an opponent in top form.

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Liverpool's Sadio Mane has netted eight times in his last nine games across all competitions and goes into this match with only Mohamed Salah ahead of him at the top of the club's scoring charts for the season.

The No.10 netted twice in the 4-2 win over Burnley at the weekend and will be brimming with confidence heading to Germany. 

Usually starting from the left flank, the speedy, tricky forward is likely to be in direct opposition with Rafinha and it should be an intriguing match-up.

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The view from Bayern: 'Whoever scores first will win'

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 07:00

Liverpool will contest the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash with Bayern Munich on Wednesday night knowing a score draw, or better, will book their place in the quarter-finals.

The match at the Allianz Arena is poised delicately following the sides' 0-0 draw at Anfield in last month's first leg.

The Reds go into the all-or-nothing game in Munich having beaten Burnley 4-2 in the Premier League at the weekend to stay within one point of leaders Manchester City.

Meanwhile, Niko Kovac's Bayern thrashed Wolfsburg 6-0 in the Bundesliga to put the defending champions on top of the table for the first time since September.

So, what can we expect to see from Die Roten at the Allianz Arena?

We spoke to Tobias Altschäffl (@altobelli13), chief reporter at SPORT BILD magazine, to get the lowdown...

How was the 0-0 draw from the first leg at Anfield perceived in Germany?

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In Germany, the first leg result was rated very positively. Public opinion before the match was that Bayern were going into the game with Liverpool as the underdogs.

Bayern seemed to set up defensively for that game, how will their tactics differ at the Allianz Arena?

Kovac had a very good plan for the defence - something he was already an expert at from his time as head coach of Eintracht Frankfurt. The big question is: does he also have an attacking solution for the second leg? Bayern will certainly have to act more aggressively when going forward.

Full-back Joshua Kimmich is suspended for the second leg, how big a miss is that for Bayern?

Kimmich is one of the key players in the team. His replacement should be Rafinha. The 33-year-old Brazilian is reliable, but also made a crucial mistake last season against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final.

We've seen Tottenham Hotspur, Ajax and Manchester United all win second-leg ties away from home in this round. Has that had an effect on the fans' and media's expectations for the match?

No, that had no impact on expectations. It shows that everything is possible for Bayern.

Which key player battle could turn the game at the Allianz Arena?

For me, it is the battle of Virgil van Dijk versus Robert Lewandowski. Will the Bayern striker score in a big match? Or will Van Dijk show how important he is as a leader and the defensive 'mastermind' of the Liverpool team?

Which areas do you think the teams will try to exploit in each other?

Bayern must try to make more pressure. The fans and the atmosphere can help. However, the injury to winger Kingsley Coman is a big disadvantage. I think Liverpool will put a focus on the counter-attack with their dangerous strikers.

Like Liverpool, Bayern are going for the league title and the Champions League. If the fans were forced to choose, which one would they prefer to win and why?

I think after six years without the title in the Champions League the Bayern fans are desperate to win the Champions League again. They have won the Bundesliga six times in a row…

What have you made of Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool this season?

Liverpool play a fascinating football that is enjoyable to watch. And Klopp is as emotional as we know him. I like the attacking football they play, even though it looks like a bit of their self-confidence may have got lost over the last few weeks.

Which one Liverpool player would you like to see in a Bayern shirt?

I love the style of Mohamed Salah and would love to see the Egyptian forward in a Bayern shirt!
 
How do you expect Bayern to line up?

What is your prediction for the match?

It is very difficult to predict. I think it will be 0-0 for a long time. Whoever scores the first goal will win.

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Stats: Can Liverpool continue quirk against German teams?

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 04:00

Liverpool will aim to continue a quirk of fate against German opposition when they face Bayern Munich in Wednesday's Champions League last-16 second leg.

In the last three seasons that the Reds have met clubs from Germany they have not only won the tie but gone on to reach the final of the respective European competition.

Those doubles occurred in their successful 2005 Champions League campaign, the 2016 Europa League journey and last term’s adventure all the way from Hoffenheim to Kiev.

For more pre-match facts and figures, courtesy of club statistician Ged Rea, read on…

This is the fifth European tie that the clubs have met in, with the previous four including two that produced a goalless first leg.

In the 1971-72 Cup Winners’ Cup, Bayern progressed after a 3-1 victory in Munich; a 0-0 draw at Anfield in the 1981 European Cup semi-final was followed by a 1-1 draw in Germany, with Ray Kennedy’s goal meaning Liverpool reached the final and ultimately defeated Real Madrid in Paris.

Liverpool have not lost in their past seven matches played in the Round of 16 of this competition, winning five and drawing two with no goals conceded.

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The last team to score against the Reds at this stage were FC Barcelona in 2007; the Spaniards won 1-0 at Anfield but had already lost 2-1 at Camp Nou.

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last nine clashes with German teams and have suffered only one loss in 19 since 1977 – a 4-2 defeat by Bayer Leverkusen in 2002.

Jürgen Klopp has won 15 of 19 two-legged ties in European competition in his managerial career. He has never lost a two-legged tie as Liverpool manager in Europe, winning all eight.

The Reds have progressed five times on away goals in European history, with three of those coming when they have played the away leg second. They last won on the ruling in 2007 when they eliminated Barcelona.

A yellow card for Andy Robertson in this game would see him miss the first leg of the quarter-final should Liverpool progress.

At home against English clubs, Bayern have won 15, with seven draws and three defeats. Those losses came at the hands of Norwich City (1-2) in the 1993-94 UEFA Cup, to Arsenal (0-2) at this stage of the 2012-13 Champions League (but they still progressed), and in the following season’s group stage when Manchester City won 3-2.

They have only lost two of their last 23 ties in UEFA competition when they have drawn the first leg away from home – the exceptions were Liverpool in 1981 and AC Milan in the 2006-07 Champions League quarter-final.

Bayern have lost just once at home this season, a 3-0 defeat against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga back in October.

The only match in which they have failed to score since that loss was at Anfield in the first leg of this tie, Niko Kovac’s team having scored in the other 24 of their last 25 games.

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Bayern Munich v Liverpool: Team news

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 20:58

Jürgen Klopp is optimistic regarding Trent Alexander-Arnold’s chances of facing Bayern Munich, but Liverpool will be without Naby Keita at the Allianz Arena.

Alexander-Arnold sustained a minor injury in the closing stages of Sunday’s 4-2 win over Burnley at Anfield. 

The right-back was, though, included in the Reds’ 21-man squad that flew out to Germany on Tuesday ahead of the Champions League last-16 second leg.

"It looks good. He had a bit of a problem obviously but it should not be a major concern," Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.

Dejan Lovren and James Milner also travelled - after the former returned to the bench against Burnley following a hamstring problem and the latter missed that game altogether due to a slight muscle issue - and their conditions will be monitored before Wednesday’s tie.

"He [Lovren] trained in a normal way this morning and he is an option," Klopp told the media after arriving in Munich. "To play 90 minutes might be a bit much but we will see."

However, Keita has remained on Merseyside because of a slight injury.

Suspension meant Virgil van Dijk did not play in the scoreless first-leg draw at Anfield three weeks ago, but the centre-back is available for the decisive clash at the Allianz.

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Bayern, meanwhile, will certainly be without banned duo Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich, and Arjen Robben (calf) and Corentin Tolisso (knee) are long-term absentees.

David Alaba and Kingsley Coman were sidelined for their team’s last two Bundesliga games with muscular complaints, but Niko Kovac expects both to feature versus Liverpool.

“With Kingsley, I am very happy,” Bayern’s boss said, during Tuesday’s pre-match press conference.

“Yesterday we had training. The ones that played at the weekend played a little less but Coman participated and he seems to be fit for tomorrow. We have to see if he can start or be substituted in.

“David Alaba participated in training but not the whole thing. We will train today and I think he will be starting. Mentally and physically he is fit and will help the whole team.”

Rafinha has deputised at left-back during Alaba’s absence, and the Brazilian could switch to right-back on Wednesday to fill in for Kimmich.

Last time out

Bayern Munich 6-0 Wolfsburg (March 9): Neuer, Kimmich, Hummels, Boateng, Rafinha, Martinez, Thiago, James, Gnabry, Muller, Lewandowski.

Liverpool 4-2 Burnley (March 10): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Salah, Mane, Firmino.

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Klopp discusses Reds' second-leg approach, Bayern form and Allianz atmosphere

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 20:03

Jürgen Klopp hopes Liverpool perform at a high enough level to make their clash with Bayern Munich an open game.

And, should the Reds do so, the boss is upbeat about their chances of advancing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

A 0-0 first-leg draw at Anfield three weeks ago means the last-16 tie is finely poised ahead of Wednesday’s meeting at the Allianz Arena.

Klopp held a pre-match press conference in Munich on Tuesday, during which he discussed topics including Liverpool’s tactical approach, Bayern’s impressive form and the atmosphere he expects inside the stadium.

Read on for a summary…

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On whether competing in the Champions League helps or hinders Liverpool’s Premier League title challenge…

I really don’t think there is any other coach in the world or manager in the world who has to answer this question when he plays in the Champions League. That’s really unique, it only happens if you are the Liverpool manager. I only can say that we play this competition - you asked us after we went out in the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup if it’s better for us. We don’t see it like this, we wanted to go through but we didn’t. This time, we want to be focused on this game and if it would harm us, if, we could not change it. The whole world will watch this game tomorrow night… I wish that these guys who write this question down would try to prove someday that it is possible to use their ideas in real life and not in the studio. On the other hand side it will build momentum, yes if we play good football, afterwards. This game has nothing to do with anything else. If we win tomorrow night and deserve to go through, play good football, it could change the world for us. If not we say now it’s over and let’s concentrate on Fulham. Yes, of course that’s how it is. It’s only one game, a very important game, a very, very important game and then more important games will come. Sunday, Fulham and then Tottenham and then the next one. But tomorrow night we only play one of them and that’s against Bayern.

On the difficulty of finding the right balance between defence and attack for this game…

I wouldn’t say it is difficult, but it is a challenge and that’s exactly what we need. We need a rhythm, the right things to do in specific moments. Bayern is a world-class football team, as everyone knows. World-class players and it sounds easy but you have to defend them on absolutely the highest level, on our highest level. And how I know from my experience with Bayern… then when we have the ball, we have to be really confident. That’s difficult against world-class teams; it happens from time to time that you don’t have the balls to play your really brave or your best football, and that’s what we have to show tomorrow night. There will be moments when we can dominate, there will be moments, probably more, when Bayern is dominating, but in both moments you can use the situation and that’s what we try. But the balance, it’s all about that, it’s true.

On that task possibly being made tougher by Bayern’s strong form…

Probably. Three weeks ago, you can see how quickly the world in football can change, Bayern came to Liverpool and we had to explain that we are not the massive favourite in that game. But obviously Bayern adapted to our form, or the form they thought we have so they showed a lot of respect, that’s clear, like other teams did. They defended on a really high level that night, they played football as well but probably not as much as they would do usually. That of course will be different tomorrow night but that doesn’t make the game easier, it’s the other way around. That of course makes it more difficult, but on the other hand side it gives us an opportunity to defend better ourselves - better and on the highest level. That should be possible and then it’s an open game, and an open game you always can win. That’s the first thing to do: to create a situation where it’s really an open game and we have that, we have a good chance and if we have a good chance we will try to use it.

On Liverpool scoring fewer goals from outside the box than in previous seasons…

Actually, how many goals have we scored? Sixty-eight or so? In Germany we say ‘if you don’t have any problems, you create your own’. It sounds a little bit like that to be honest. If you moan always about something you don’t have then you cannot be a happy person. I don’t think about it too much and it’s not that we say ‘boys, don’t shoot from outside the box’. Phil Coutinho is not here anymore and was probably was responsible for 60 per cent of all our shots from outside the box. Ox didn’t really play all year and I remember two goals from outside the box last year when he was playing for us. That’s how it is, it’s no problem. We want to score from everywhere, but we don’t ‘miss it’. We scored enough goals… from where we score, I don’t care.

On the atmosphere he is expecting in the Allianz…

To our Liverpool fans I would say don’t hesitate and give it your all. You can be loud, you can influence. The atmosphere is good here, actually, to be honest. It will be good tomorrow. There is only one chance to calm it down and that’s with football – as well, I think we should give it a try. But it will be difficult, it is a good place to come, it is a good place to enjoy football. It is a good atmosphere, close and all that stuff [which] makes a difference. Usually it’s a good pitch, I don’t know how it is in the moment but it should be OK. So there is nothing between us and a good football game so let’s enjoy it, let’s try.

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Alisson on trophy hopes, Neuer comparison and penalty practice

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 19:30

Alisson Becker is adamant Liverpool have what it takes to compete on both fronts as they chase glory in the Premier League and the Champions League in the final quarter of 2018-19.

Domestically, the Reds currently sit second in the table, one point behind leaders Manchester City with eight games left to contest in the division.

However, the current focus of Jürgen Klopp’s men is on their European aspirations as they prepare to take on Bayern Munich in the second leg of the Champions League last-16 tie, with the aggregate scoreline finely poised at 0-0.

And Alisson insists Liverpool will not look to prioritise one competition over the other, maintaining they are aiming to go the distance in both tournaments.

The Reds touched down in Germany on Tuesday afternoon and the Brazil goalkeeper tackled questions from journalists at a press conference at the Allianz Arena ahead of tomorrow night’s meeting with Bayern.

Read on for a summary of what he had to say…

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On how the Champions League will impact Liverpool’s chances in the Premier League…

It doesn’t change anything. We have our goals and we are fighting for them. Our goal is to win the league and everything we are playing in, [so] the Champions League as well. We are fighting in this period. This team is a great team. We are focused on this next game and it is a challenge for us.

On whether Liverpool would choose to win the Premier League or the Champions League if they were given the option…

No, we can’t choose what we go for. If we can choose, but we choose both! They are two big competitions. Of course, in the Premier League it is a long time since Liverpool won it and they have never won the Premier League with this name, so we will fight for both.

On how he finds working with Jürgen Klopp…

He is a funny guy, but on and off the pitch inside the time of work, he is pretty serious and a passionate guy for football. He puts this on us on the pitch; he gives his passion for me and my teammates in the games so this is very good.

On why he described Klopp as ‘a funny guy’…

He is a funny guy because he is a great guy, a good guy. The way he deals with everyone, he treats us like his own sons. He treats as everyone as equal in the dressing room, the staff, everyone, so this makes him a special person for us.

On whether he feels he compares to Bayern goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer…

I cannot compare myself with Neuer – he is one of the best in the last 10 years. Maybe he is the best one. He has won everything and I am just starting out. He is a reference for me and a great guy as well. Playing against him is a pleasure for me and a dream come true.

On whether he ever thinks about becoming ‘the best goalkeeper in the world’…

I believe this is a consequence of what we do on the pitch. In the training ground every day I will work hard. I know have to work hard [because] I am part of a big club who have big plans and big goals. I need to take this responsibility and take care of it. For this, I need to give my best – my 100 per cent - on the pitch. To be the best in the world would be a consequence of this.

On the importance of Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool…

It is great playing with him - and all my teammates. We have so many players with a lot of quality, but Van Dijk is a very, very important player for our team and the way he plays gives consistency for our team, defending high balls, corners, set pieces. He is important for us and it is very important to have him [back] for this second game. I think Fabinho played well at centre-back [in the first leg], but it isn’t the same thing – he is a great midfielder and a good centre-back. If you can have the best in the position, for us it is always better.

On how he has prepared for facing Robert Lewandowski…

Like we prepare to meet every player. He is a great striker, maybe one of the best in the world. I like his style, I like the way he moves on the pitch, so we need to be very concentrated to stop him and try to stop the other players. I think it’ll be a great game and we will be prepared for it.

On whether Liverpool have prepared for the prospect of a penalty shootout…

We are prepared for the game and we know penalties can happen, so we will try to come back [to Liverpool] with the qualification for the next stage, but the way that goes I don’t know. So, we are prepared for everything tomorrow night.

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Match report: Dinamo Zagreb end Reds' Youth League hopes

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 16:59

Liverpool U19s were eliminated from the UEFA Youth League at the last-16 stage after a penalty shootout defeat by Dinamo Zagreb, following a 1-1 draw in the Croatian capital on Tuesday.

In a hard-fought encounter at the Stadion Hitrec-Kacijan, Barry Lewtas’ charges lost goalkeeper Vitezslav Jaros to injury at half-time yet took the lead through Bobby Duncan shortly after the break.

However, Dinamo levelled with just over 20 minutes to play and then prevailed 4-3 on spot-kicks when their goalkeeper, Dinko Horkas, saved from both Liam Coyle and Duncan.

The young Reds had qualified for the last 16 via the Champions League path, topping Group C ahead of Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli and Red Star Belgrade.

Dinamo, meanwhile, had instead progressed along the Domestic Champions path, getting the better of Viitorul Constanta, Astana and Lokomotiv Moscow to reach this stage.

Lewtas named a strong line-up featuring five tournament ever-presents and spearheaded by prolific pairing Paul Glatzel and Duncan.

Dinamo had the first meaningful opportunity in the fifth minute, Antonio Marin’s cross volleyed wide of the left-hand post by Leon Sipos.

Marin had a go himself 10 minutes later, his low drive parried by Jaros.

Igor Jovicevic’s side threatened again in first-half stoppage-time when Bartol Franjic charged into the box and blasted in a shot from a tight angle that Jaros saved well with his feet.

Having recorded more attempts on goal than any other team in the tournament up until this stage, Liverpool unusually reached half-time without mustering one in the Croatian capital, despite shading the possession stats.

And Lewtas was then forced into an unplanned change at the break, sending Dan Atherton on for his Youth League debut in place of Jaros.

The visitors immediately posed a greater threat when play resumed, Duncan collecting a flick from Jake Cain and firing a half-volley which Filip Antovski dived in to block.

Dinamo soon countered – Atherton’s first involvement an impressive save from Marijo Cuze – but then in the 53rd minute came the opening goal and a perfect demonstration of what has made the Glatzel-Duncan partnership so special this season.

Glatzel gathered a throw-in out on the right flank and showed speed, skill and strength to beat several men, make it to the byline and send in a low cross that Duncan tapped in at the back post. It was the 17-year-old’s second goal of the tournament in only his third start.

Cain almost doubled the young Reds’ lead in the 66th minute but Horkas palmed the midfielder’s rasping effort from distance round the post, and less than a minute later Dinamo were level. The effervescent Marin jinked into space down the left and his cutback was lashed into the roof of Atherton’s net by Sipos.

The Croats squandered a glaring opportunity to take the lead with 15 minutes left when another inviting low ball was delivered from the left but both Sipos and substitute Roko Baturina let it trickle over their toes and out of play.

Horkas got his hands to Adam Lewis’ cross to snuff out a promising attack – and so the tie ended 1-1 and went straight to a penalty shootout.

Both sides successfully converted their first penalties but it was 2-1 Dinamo when Coyle’s attempt was turned away by Horkas.

Atherton then dived to his right to make an excellent save from Marin and when Curtis Jones slotted in his spot-kick Liverpool were level.

Baturina and Cuze both subsequently netted, as did Glatzel, leaving Duncan with the responsibility of taking it to sudden death, but his attempt was slapped away from the corner by the outstanding Horkas, ensuring a cruel end to this season’s European adventure for Lewtas and his players.

Liverpool U19s: Jaros (Atherton), N. Williams, Lewis, R. Williams, Boyes, Coyle, Sharif, Cain (Clarkson), Jones, Glatzel, Duncan.

Unused substitutes: Larouci, Dixon-Bonner, Walls, Savage, Ritaccio.

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Trent Alexander-Arnold fitness latest

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 16:28

Trent Alexander-Arnold is in contention to face Bayern Munich on Wednesday night after sustaining a minor injury in the weekend win over Burnley.

The right-back was substituted four minutes from the end of the clash with the Clarets but trained on Tuesday morning and has travelled with the 21-man Reds squad to Germany for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern.

Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com on Monday, Jürgen Klopp said of Alexander-Arnold’s fitness: “It looks good. He had a bit of a problem obviously but it should not be a major concern.

“We cannot judge the situation now, we have to wait this full day, tomorrow possibly the full day – we have two days and then we have a little, little session on Wednesday morning.

“If we know then, it’s good and then we’ll choose the team and play.”

Klopp also confirmed Liverpool will have to monitor the conditions of Dejan Lovren and James Milner – who made the journey to Munich on Tuesday – ahead of the match.

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Photos: Reds depart for Bayern Munich showdown

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 16:11

Liverpool set off for Germany this afternoon with a Champions League decider against Bayern Munich awaiting them on Wednesday night.

Having trained at Melwood in the morning, Jürgen Klopp, his staff and players departed John Lennon Airport on a short flight to Munich.

Our photographers were there as the squad boarded the plane - take a look in the gallery from the tarmac below...

Photos by John and Andrew Powell

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Confirmed: Liverpool's 21-man squad for Bayern clash

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 15:58

Liverpool have named a 21-man squad for the Champions League tie with Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.

The Reds departed for Germany on Tuesday afternoon for the decisive return meeting in their last-16 clash after a goalless stalemate at Anfield last month.

Victory or a score draw at the Allianz Arena would send Jürgen Klopp’s team through to the quarter-finals.

Naby Keita has not travelled with the squad due to a minor injury.

Liverpool squad: Fabinho, Van Dijk, Wijnaldum, Lovren, Milner, Firmino, Mane, Salah, Alisson, Henderson, Sturridge, Moreno, Lallana, Mignolet, Shaqiri, Robertson, Origi, Matip, Phillips, Kelleher, Alexander-Arnold.

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