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Daunting task for Liverpool … take on Bayern at the Allianz Arena

LIVERPOOL head to Germany with their Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern Munich on a knife-edge.

The first leg ended in an Anfield stalemate, leaving both sides with it all to play for at the Allianz Arena.

Liverpool reached last season’s final, but Niko Kovac’s Bayern side are in dominant form as they lead the Bundesliga once again despite a stuttering start to the season.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds have ceded control of the Premier League title race to Manchester City, but four goals vs Burnley at the weekend will fill them with confidence ahead of a tough test in Munich.

Liverpool hope Trent Alexander-Arnold will be fit despite coming off injured against Burnley.

James Milner is also a doubt, which could leave Liverpool’s right side exposed in Munich.

Adam Lallana’s impressive display versus Burnley has given Klopp something to think about, though Jordan Henderson may well return in midfield.

Naby Keita is also an option, particularly with his experience against Bayern for RB Leipzig.

Bayern will be without suspended duo Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich, while Arjen Robben (calf) and Corentin Tolisso (knee) are out injured.

Kingsley Coman is also a fitness doubt, meaning Franck Ribery should start in attack.

With the tie so finely poised after the Anfield stalemte, Liverpool know a score draw or better will be enough to go through.

Bayern have been far from their best this season, but have won 12 of their last 13 games to go top of the Bundesliga on goal difference.

Both teams will be confident of scoring, and Liverpool should have enough talent at both ends of the pitch to get the result they need.

The two sides have met on only six previous occasions and boast a win each, with four draws.

Prior to the first leg this season, their last contest came 18 years ago, when Liverpool became the first English club to win five trophies in a calendar year with a 3-2 victory in the UEFA Super Cup in Monaco.

John Arne Riise, Emile Heskey and Michael Owen all scored for Gerard Houllier’s UEFA Cup holders at the Stade Louis II, while goals from Bayern duo Hasan Salihamidzic and Carsten Jancker were not enough to force extra-time.

They also squared off in the 1981 European Cup semi-finals and in the 1971-72 European Cup Winners’ Cup semi-finals.

In the other game of the day, Barcelona will welcome Lyon after their first game had ended goalless. – EveningStandard


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