Liverpool v Bayern Munich Betting Preview: Latest odds, team news, tips and predictions

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Liverpool v Bayern Munich

Champions League: Tue, 19/02  Stadium: Anfield

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Liverpool to win at Evens reflects how close a game this, and should be snapped up with Bet365. The same firm also has Liverpool to win and both teams to score at 12/5, a very appealing bet given the quality of attackers that will be on display and the absence of Virgil van Dijk for Liverpool.

*Odds correct at time of publication.

The next phase of the second round of the Champions League sees a truly heavyweight clash at Anfield, as five times winners Liverpool take on German giants and also five times winners Bayern Munich.

Liverpool still chasing league glory

After a recent domestic wobble, Liverpool fans go into this fixture with renewed belief the season can culminate in either ending a fourteen year wait for Champions League glory, or ending a 29 year drought for the Premier League. A 3-0 victory at home to Bournemouth in their last fixture ended a two game winless sequence, and was more in the manner of the way they had been dispatching teams outside of the top six until their recent sticky form.

Manager Jurgen Klopp will now face the dilemma of how best to balance his players and keep them fresh as they chase two of the biggest prizes in domestic football. They trail Manchester City at the top of the table on goal difference with a game in hand, and with Manchester United away following this fixture, it appears this week could be key in deciding their prospects of domestic and European glory.

Bayern title procession under threat, coach under pressure

The annual Bayern procession to the league title looks to be severely under threat this season, with Niko Kovac’s side currently in the unfamiliar position of playing catch up in the last portion of the campaign. They currently trail Borussia Dortmund by two points at the time of writing, having also played a game more. The position could have been even worse if Dortmund had not drawn their last two games, including surrendering a 3-0 advantage over Hoffenheim to draw 3-3.

Not surprisingly, coach and ex-player Niko Kovac has come in for heavy criticism this season from fans and the media alike. For a club used to cruising to the title in recent years and thereby freeing up resources to concentrate on the Champions League, an ageing squad finds itself battling to not end the season empty handed, a result that will surely cost the Croatian his job after just one season in charge.

Lewandowski on fire, can Matip step up?

Despite Bayern’s relative domestic struggles, one constant that has remained is the form of their deadly marksman, Robert Lewandowski. The Pole has fired in 21 goals so far this season at just slightly over the rate of one goal per game, and remains one of the top forwards in Europe, if not world football.

Worryingly for Liverpool, they will be without their key defender and perhaps most influential performer in the shape of Dutch star Virgil Van Dijk. The star defender picked up a booking in their last group stage game against Napoli, and therefore misses the first leg. Domestic cup games apart, the Dutchman has been an ever present this season, and in his absence it will likely to fall to Joel Matip to fill the breach. The talented defender has still not quite fulfilled the promise he first showed when joining the Reds, with a series of injuries hampering his progress at Anfield. Arguably he has slipped to fourth choice centre back behind Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren, but with Lovren looking unlikely he will be making his return from injury to partner him on Tuesday, the pressure on the Cameroon defender will be intense to keep Lewandowski shut out.

Kimmich v Mane a key battleground

Another intriguing battle will see in form Sadio Mane likely to be pitched up against talented and versatile German Joshua Kimmich. Kimmich has been employed in both defence and midfield this season, and leads the assist charts for Bayern with an impressive twelve already this season. He started their last game against FC Augsburg at right-back, where if he remains so on Tuesday will bring him face to face with Sadio Mane.

Mane comes into this game off the back of scoring in four successive league games, his best run of form since moving to England. Cutting in from his left wing position will bring him face to face against Kimmich, and it will interesting to see how the German fares with a level of opponent he is most unlikely to be accustomed to facing week in week out in the Bundesliga.

Team News

Bayern stalwart Thomas Muller joins Van Dijk on the sidelines, with the German having picked up a two game suspension for his sending off against Ajax in Bayern’s last groups stage game. Kingsley Coman is expected to be passed fit despite picking up a knock against FC Augsburg, a game in which he scored twice.

If Lovren is not passed fit for the Reds, influential midfielder Fabinho return into the back four to parter Joel Matip, with James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita vying for two midfield spaces alongside automatic pick Gigi Wijnaldum.

Reds can edge first leg with home advantage

With three wins from three in the group stages, Liverpool will feel they can make home advantage tell again, despite being severely understaffed at centre back for this fixture. Bayern are clearly not the force of previous years, and looked particularly vulnerable against the quick and energetic approach of Ajax in the group stages, drawing 1-1 at home and 3-3 away. Liverpool will look to employ similar tactics, and while they will be sure to concede chances on the counter to Bayern, they will be looking to take some sort of lead into the second leg.

Liverpool to win at Evens reflects how close a game this, and should be snapped up with Bet365. The same firm also has Liverpool to win and both teams to score at 12/5, a very appealing bet given the quality of attackers that will be on display and the absence of Virgil van Dijk for Liverpool.

*Odds correct at time of publication.

 

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