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Opposition analysis: six-time European champions Liverpool

We take a look at one of the biggest clubs in the world | The route to the last 16, current form, key players and other interesting facts about our last-16 rivals

Liverpool – one of the biggest and most successful teams in world football. The “Reds” are the defending champions of England and won their sixth Champions League title in 2019.

Ahead of our last-16 first-leg tie on Tuesday (kick off 21:00 CET in Budapest), we’ll look at our opposition’s current form, key players as well as the current Champions League campaign. 

Current form:

After a successful 2019/20 season, culminating in Liverpool’s first Premier League title in nearly 30 years, the odds of them defending their title look slim at the moment. League-leaders Manchester City have played one game less, but are currently 10 points ahead of LFC. Jürgen Klopp’s side have also been knocked out of all three domestic cup competitions, and will therefore be looking to be successful in the Champions League.

Liverpool have lost each of their last three Premier League matches: 1-0 vs. Brighton & Hove Albion, 4-1 vs. Man City and, most recently, 3-1 vs. Leicester City.

The last six games: 

  • 24th January: Manchester United - Liverpool 3-2 (FA Cup)
  • 28th January: Tottenham Hotspur - Liverpool 1-3 (Premier League)
  • 31st January: West Ham United - Liverpool 1-3 (Premier League)
  • 3rd February Liverpool - Brighton & Hove Albion 0-1 (Premier League)
  • 7th February: Liverpool - Manchester City 1-4 (Premier League)
  • 13th February: Leicester City - Liverpool 3-1 (Premier League)

 

Ready for the Champions League!

Squad update:

Liverpool will be without several key players:

  • Injuries to Virgil van Dijk (cruciate ligament tear), Joe Gomez (Patellar tendon issues) and Joel Matip (Ankle injury) mean that Liverpool are currently without three of their centre-backs.
  • Midfielders Fabinho (muscle injury) and former Leipzig man Naby Keita (Ankle injury) are also out for the foreseeable future.
  • Left-winger Diogo Jota has also been out injured since December with a knee injury. 

 

 Key players:

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Sadio Mané is a key part of Liverpool’s attack, lighting up the left wing with his pace and dribbling. He has scored 91 goals and set up a further 39 in 191 games for Liverpool.
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Mohamed Salah is Liverpool’s biggest threat in front of goal, netting 117 times in 185 games for LFC. He’s scored 23 goals across all competitions this season. Salah mainly features on the right of the attack, and looks to cut in and get the ball on his stronger left foot.
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Roberto Firmino played for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim from 2011 to 2015, before moving to Liverpool. The centre forward is the final piece in Liverpool’s deadly attacking trio, together with Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah.
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Trent Alexander-Arnold came through Liverpool’s youth set-up and is now a key player for the club’s first team.

The head coach:

The Stuttgart native began his coaching career at 1. FSV Mainz 05. After seven years in Mainz, Jürgen Klopp moved to Dortmund where he would go on to win two Bundesliga titles (in 2011 and 2012), the DFB-Pokal (2012) and two DFL Supercups (2013 and 2014), while also reaching the final of the Champions League (2013). Jürgen Klopp then took over as head coach of Liverpool in October 2015.

Klopp has guided Liverpool to several Top 4 finishes in the Premier League, after the team had failed to reach its full potential in previous seasons. Despite narrowly missing out on a first-place Premier League finish in 2019, Klopp’s side were crowned champions of Europe after beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the Champions League final.

A year later, the team were able to lift the Premier League trophy for the first time in 30 years. Liverpool ended the season 18 points clear of second-placed Manchester City.

 

 

Their path to the round of 16:

Liverpool qualified for the round of 16 after coming out on top of Group D, ahead of Atalanta (Italy), Ajax Amsterdam (Netherlands) and FC Midtjylland (Denmark). In addition to four wins, LFC also suffered a 2-0 home defeat to Atalanta and drew 1-1 at Midtjylland.

Group d results:

  • Ajax Amsterdam - Liverpool 0-1
    Goal: Nicolás Tagliafico (OG)
  • Liverpool - Midtjylland 2-0
    Goals: Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah
  • Atalanta - Liverpool 0-5
    Goals: Diogo Jota (3), Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané
  • Liverpool - Atalanta Bergamo 0-2
  • Liverpool - Ajax Amsterdam 1-0
    Goal: Curtis Jones
  • Midtjylland - Liverpool 1-1
    LFC goalscorer: Mohamed Salah

 

Group stage statistics:

  • Liverpool kept a clean sheet in four of their six group stage games.
  • All three of Liverpool’s senior goalkeepers featured in the group stage.
  • Diogo Jota (currently out injured) scored four of LFC’s 10 group stage goals, while Mohamen Salah scored three times.
  • Trent Alexander-Arnold is Liverpool’s top provider this Champions League season with two assists.
  • Liverpool benefitted from one own goal in the group stage (1-0 win in Amsterdam).
  • Five of Liverpool’s 10 goals were left-footed shots.

 

Warm up for the Champions League!

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