Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer believes his team can overcome the challenge presented by Liverpool during the round of 16 stage of the Champions League.
The Bavarian giants have been pitted against the Reds for the first time in Europe since early 2000 and Neuer has backed them to prevail by taking advantage of the defensive vulnerability of Jurgen Klopp’s side. The bookies have backed Bayern to do it too, with novibet.co.uk offering odds-on the Germans making it through to the next round at the expense of the Liverpudlians.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Neuer highlighted that the Reds won’t be pleased to be drawn against the reigning German champions while suggesting that the club can outclass the Reds to reach the quarter-final phase.
He said: “They’re having a very good season and we know they were in the Champions League final last year. They certainly won’t be delighted with the draw, either. They can counter quickly and they’re dangerous in front of goal, but they’re also vulnerable, as we’ve seen, and they’ll be up against a good Bayern attack. It’ll be a great game both at Liverpool and also at home at the Allianz Arena.”
The Reds have possessed the best defensive record in the Premier League this term with just seven goals conceded from their opening 17 matches and this has propelled them to the top of the standings. However, they have not enjoyed a similar run in Europe after allowing seven goals from six group stage matches and the majority of those came on the road.
As such, Bayern should remain optimistic of competing against their Premier League counterparts despite their indifferent form and their home leg at the Allianz Arena could be essential towards determining the outcome.
Klopp’s team only scraped through to the knockout phase after scoring more goals than Napoli and that came about from them failing to pick up a single point on the road unlike at Anfield where they maintained a perfect record.
With Bayern expected to beat Liverpool comfortably at home (in light of the above form guide) then it will all come down to the final match, at Anfield, where Liverpool will have to see if they can outscore their rivals infront of the Kop.
Liverpool are currently riding high in the Premier League, so will be confident that they can pull a famous victory off, but JUrgen Klopp's team will have to be at their very best to take the scalp of Niko Kovac's Bayern over two legs.