Another meeting in Budapest: Liverpool opposition analysis

Last 16 tie in Budapest | Liverpool’s current form | Key players and interesting facts about our opponents

Mission Impossible? We take on Liverpool FC in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg. The game will again take place at the Puskás Aréna in Budapest, rather than Liverpool’s Anfield home, with Julian Nagelsmann’s men attempting to overturn a 2-0 deficit.

In our opposition preview, we look ahead to Wednesday’s deciding clash (21:00 CET kick-off), taking a look at the state of play, the key players and Liverpool’s Champions League run so far.

Current form:

Six home losses in a row and down to eighth in the league: the Reds, who won the league by 18 points last season, had previously been unbeaten in 68 home matches but are now having to scrap for a spot in next year’s UCL.

Table-toppers Manchester City have built a 22 point gap over the Reds, who are also out of both domestic cup competitions already. Things have only gone according to plan in the Champions League and LFC will be doing all they can to continue their run.
In the Premier League, Liverpool have lost against Everton (2-0), Chelsea (1-0) and Fulham (1-0) since the first game in Budapest. The change in fortune that they’d hoped for after the 2-0 win against Sheffield United.

Last six matches:

  • Liverpool 1-4 Manchester City (Premier League)
  • Leicester City 3-1 Liverpool (Premier League)
  • RB Leipzig 0-2 Liverpool (Champions League)
  • Liverpool 0-2 Everton (Premier League)
  • Sheffield United 0-2 Liverpool (Premier League)
  • Liverpool 0-1 Chelsea (Premier League)
  • Liverpool 0-1 Fulham (Premier League)

Champions League style!

Squad info:

Injury problems at the back:

  • Virgil van Dijk (torn ligaments), Joe Gomez (patella tendon issue) and Joel Matip (ankle injury) are missing for Liverpool.
  • Captain Jordan Henderson misses out through injury.
  • Roberto Firmino and January signing Ozan Kabak are doubts after missing the Fulham game, although a return is possible.

Key players:

Sadio Mané has been manning the flank at Anfield since 2016. The Senegalese attacker can cause issues for any defence with his pace and dribbling. He was involved in both goals in the first leg.
Academy product Trent Alexander-Arnold worked his way through the LFC youth teams and is now a fixture in the first XI. He has been showing off his attacking prowess down the right flank for years now.
With four goals. Diogo Jota is LFC’s top scorer in the UCL this season, joint with Mohamed Salah. The attacker, who moved to Anfield last summer, has been out injured in recent weeks. He was back in the line-up for the defeat by Fulham.
Mohamed Salah is the face of Liverpool’s attack. Since arriving in Liverpool, the striker has played 40 times in the UEFA Champions League and scored 23 goals. In the first leg he scored his fourth goal of the season.

The coach:

After almost seven years with 1. FSV Mainz 05,  "The Normal One" moved on to Dortmund. He won two German titles with the yellow and blacks, in 2011 and 2012, as well as the DFB-Pokal in 2012 and the DFL super cup twice. He also reached the final of the Champions League with BVB. Jürgen Klopp has been the head coach of Liverpool FC since October 2015.

His aim is to lead Liverpool back to the top of the Premier League after Liverpool have fallen short of their aims this season. They narrowly missed out on the title in 2019 but went one better than next year lifting the trophy to go along with the Champions League victory the previous season. They beat Spurs 2-0 in the final in 2019.

A successful year the following season saw them win the title by 18 points ahead of Manchester City. Liverpool wrote their name onto the Premier League trophy for the first time in the club's history.

Route so far:

Liverpool showed their class to qualify as group D leaders ahead of Atalanta (Italy), Ajax (Netherlands) and Midtjylland (Denmark). They won four matches, losing 2-0 to Atalanta and drawing 1-1 with Midtjylland.

Group D results:

  • Ajax 0-1 Liverpool
    LFC goal: Nicolás Tagliafico (Ajax, OG)
  • Liverpool 2-0 Midtjylland
    LFC goals: Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah
  • Atalanta 0-5 FC Liverpool
    LFC goals: Diogo Jota (3), Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané
  • FC Liverpool 0-2 Atalanta

  • FC Liverpool 1-0 Ajax
    LFC goals: Curtis Jones
  • Midtjylland 1-1 Liverpool
    LFC goal: Mohamed Salah

Champions League Facts 2020/21:

  • Liverpool have kept a clean sheet in five of seven matches so far.
  • Liverpool used all three goalkeepers in the group stage.
  • Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah are Liverpool’s top scorers with four goals each.
  • Six of Liverpool’s twelve goals were scored with a left foot.

Warm up for the Champions League!

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