Klopp demands Reds improvement

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp claims his side should play better following their goalless stalemate against Bayern Munich on Tuesday night.

The Reds had a number of chances to take an advantage going into the Champions League last 16 second-leg in Munich but failed to capitalise at Anfield.

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah both had opportunities in the first half but failed to find a way past goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Klopp was left frustrated with the result after the game and knows his side can be much more of the threat going forward than what they showed on Tuesday night.

He told BT Sport: "We made life more difficult with the last pass today – about 10 or 12 times a promising situation [fizzled out].

"We can play better. We should play better.

"In the first half we had the bigger chances. I can't remember any chances for either side in the second half.

"It wasn't a Champions League night from that point of view. From a result point of view, it's OK. It's not a dream result but it's a good one."

Liverpool are 13/5 to win, 13/5 to draw and 19/20 to lose the second leg in 90 minutes at the Allianz Arena.

View all Soccer betting

Champions League: All Square at Anfield

Liverpool 0-0 FC Bayern

It was billed as the tightest clash of the Champions League Round of 16, and so it turned out as Liverpool and Bayern played out a goalless draw at Anfield.

And that means the tie is finely balanced, with Liverpool just needing a scoring draw in Munich to go through to the final eight. I think that might just suit Jurgen Klopp.

The hosts’ manager said before the game that Liverpool fans would rather win the Premier League than the Champions League; maybe that was a bit of pre-match kidology. Meanwhile, Bayern coach Niko Kovac said Liverpool were the toughest draw his side could have had in the Round of 16 and he won’t have changed his mind after this 90 minutes.

With ten Champions League (or European Cup) titles between them, Liverpool and FC Bayern are elder statesmen of Europe’s premier competition and are both well in the reckoning in the Champions League 2019 betting markets. But only one of them will survive the return in Bavaria.

Highlights of the game

Virgil van Dijk’s absence through suspension meant Liverpool’s depleted defence was now without their main man, and Fabinho stepped in again. But the home side looked in some disarray in the early exchanges. Joel Matip almost scored an own goal, but lucky for him his miscued clearance ricocheted off Alisson’s face and out. That would have been one for the Champions League 2019 highlights package if the ball had flown into the net!

As expected, Liverpool looked more sure-footed up front, and after good work from Mo Salah and Naby Keita, Sadio Mane came close but pulled his shot just wide. But then Alisson almost gifted Bayern a goal when he came out to beat Robert Lewandowski to the ball, but he passed it to Kingsley Coman who fired into the side netting.

Salah came close when he got on the end of a superb ball from Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Mane had another fine chance after a Keita shot hit Niklas Sule and bounced at his feet. However, he fired wide when he should have scored.

All square at the break and Liverpool had recovered well from a shaky start. While Bayern started stronger, the Reds could and probably should have been ahead by half-time. And they had another great chance at the start of the second half after Manuel Neuer came to meet Andy Robertson; the wing-back’s cross reached Salah at the back post, but he poked the ball wide with the goal gaping.

Mats Hummels played a vital role during the first-leg Champions League tie against Liverpool

Bayern Munich’s Mats Hummels in action with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah during the Champions League round of 16 first leg at Anfield

Serge Gnabry came close for the Bavarians but his shot went just over the bar with Alisson beaten. Liverpool went back on the front foot, and Mats Hummels did well to deny Mane. And as the pressure mounted and a Liverpool corner flew in, the ball pinged about in the box before Matip blazed over when the chance fell to him rather than a striker. And the crowd was on its feet on 85 minutes when Mane headed a Robertson cross towards the corner, but Neuer stretched to tip the ball around the post.

Key Statistics

The Reds are now 13 matches unbeaten at Anfield and 20 European home games unbeaten, while it was the first draw for Liverpool in 12 Champions League outings.

Klopp’s team won the shot count by 15 to nine but only had two on target, while the only player to test Alisson was his own defender Joel Matip!

Bayern won only one of eight clashes with Liverpool but haven’t scored in four attempts at Anfield. But then, what can you expect if you don’t have a shot on target? We can be pretty sure Alisson will have much more to do when Liverpool visit Germany.

What’s next?

Well then. After another epic night under the floodlights at Anfield, the drama continues with THE big game in the Premier League season. It’s Manchester United against Liverpool on Sunday, and we’ll be looking at that game soon to make our us tips.

It’s sure to be an absolute belter. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Red revolution is in full flow again, after beating Chelsea in the FA Cup, and Klopp’s team will be determined to keep pace with Manchester City at the top of the league.

After winning away at Augsburg last Friday, Bayern are now hot on the heels of leaders BVB and have a home game against Hertha Berlin. Expect Kovac’s men to win that one.

 

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

Alisson expects Reds to cope

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker is confident his side will be able to cope without suspended defender Virgil van Dijk when they face Bayern Munich.

Record signing Van Dijk is forced to sit out the Champions League last-16 first leg match at Anfield on Tuesday evening, but his Reds colleague believes that other players will be able to step in and plug the gap effectively.

Alisson told Premier League Productions: "All the defenders have played so when one comes in and one leaves, we don't feel that loss because we're all used to each other.

"That the backline are all able to communicate with each other and know each other really well, is vital for any team.

"Once you've cracked it, you've got it and we seem confident."

A number of reports suggest that midfielder Fabinho could be the man to take the place of Netherlands stopper Van Dijk.

Meanwhile, Bayern have suffered a defensive blow of their own, with Jerome Boateng having not travelled to England due to illness.

Liverpool and Bayern have, somewhat surprisingly, only met in one previous European Cup tie – that in the semi-finals in 1981 – when a Ray Kennedy goal gave the Reds victory on away goals after the tie ended level at 1-1.

The Merseysiders went on to win the final against Real Madrid, with Alan Kennedy scoring the only goal of the game in Paris.

Liverpool are 21/20 to win the game on Tuesday evening and are 11/1 to claim a 2-0 victory, with the Reds 4/5 to reach the quarter-finals at the expense of Bayern.

View all Soccer betting

Champions League: Liverpool and FC Bayern are Euro Stars

Liverpool vs Bayern Munich

This is the UEFA Champions League at its best. Two of Europe’s finest teams are set to battle it out in the first knockout stage, at Anfield, on Tuesday night.

The atmosphere on Merseyside will be electric when Liverpool and FC Bayern take to the field, and the passionate Reds fans will roar their team on against the reigning Bundesliga champions. Already out of the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup, Jurgen Klopp will be desperate to stay in this one, to ensure a season of such promise doesn’t start to fall apart.

And equally, Bayern coach Niko Kovac will be determined to take his team deep into the competition, as they gather serious momentum after a slow start under his leadership.

This tie, over two legs, will surely be one to pick up in the Champions League 2019 highlights as no other has two such well matched teams, both packed with world class quality.

Talking Points

A time of destiny for Liverpool?

This could be the most incredible season since pre Premier League days for the long-suffering Liverpool fans, especially if they can win the domestic title for the first time in three decades. It’s going to go down to the wire. The Reds are neck and neck with Manchester City and Spurs haven’t yet given up the chase.

After the Sky Blues had a serious blip over Christmas they have come back in scintillating form and all the talk in the UK is whether Liverpool can keep their nerve and hold off the champions. The Reds certainly have the firepower. Sadio Mane has scored in four consecutive league games and taken his season tally to 12, while Mo Salah is battling it out at the top of the Premier League scoring charts; locked on 17 goals with City’s Sergio Aguero.

Kingsley Coman has been passed fit to play in Bayern Munich's Champions League clash vs Liverpool

FC Bayern winger Kingsley Coman is available to face Liverpool in Tuesday’s crucial Champions League last-16 clash

Flying wingback Andy Robertson has a wicked cross on him and he has said the Reds will come out all guns blazing on Tuesday. And at the back the man mountain Virgil van Dijk will aim to repel anything the Germans can throw at him.

Defeat is unthinkable and the Reds are ready for the fight.

Bayern has eyes on the biggest prizes too

Niko Kovac’s Bayern has recovered from a slow start in the Bundesliga to put a heap of pressure on BVB at the top of the table; and that league looks like going down to the wire too. The Bavarians had a hard fought 3-2 win away to Augsburg on Friday night to climb to within two points of the top and now it’s over to Dortmund.

Kingsley Coman made his case for a starting place on Tuesday with a man-of-the-match performance in Augsburg, scoring two and coming close to a hat-trick.

And Van Dijk and co won’t need reminding of the threat of Polish hit man Robert Lewandowski. He hasn’t been quite as prolific in the Bundesliga this season, but has made up for it in Europe, bagging eight goals in the six group matches. To put that into context, Salah is Liverpool’s top scorer with three.

Bayern has a defence well equipped to cope with Liverpool’s attacking threat, with Mats Hummels, David Alaba and Joshua Kimmich equally able to support the midfield and attack when the Bavarians are on the front foot.

Meanwhile, a recent story has emerged from Munich that FC Bayern came close to appointing Klopp as their head coach back in 2008, shortly before he became BVB’s most successful boss in recent times. How he would love to show the Bavarians what they have missed… but it won’t be easy.

History

With ten European Cup or Champions League titles between them, five each, Liverpool and FC Bayern are two elder statesmen of the competition. Only Real Madrid and AC Milan have won more. And these two are both in the frame for another win, in the group of teams most likely to depose Real Madrid.

According to the latest Champions League 2019 betting odds they are two of seven clubs capable of lifting the trophy in a wide open competition.

The Reds are on a run of five matches unbeaten and 12 unbeaten at Anfield, so their Liverpool home is beginning to look like the fortress of yore.

But Bayern arrives at Anfield with seven wins in the last eight and the momentum is growing.

Betting Tip

??
Liverpool vs Bayern Munich 2-3 Total Goals @ 2.04
February 20, 04:00(GMT+8)

This is a fascinating clash and really hard to call. Our pre-match us odds have the hosts at 2.01, with Bayern at 3.55 and the draw 3.45.

Home advantage is in Liverpool’s favour, but I feel momentum is slightly with the Germans, as Klopp’s side has struggled to put teams away, drawing twice on the bounce recently.

So I’m going to stay on the fence and back a close game with no more than one goal in it. And if one side wins 2-0 or 3-0 I’m using a nice hedge!

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

Lovren doubtful for Bayern game

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says that Dejan Lovren is not expected to be fit in time for the side's meeting with Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

The teams meet at Anfield on Tuesday in the round of 16 first-leg and Liverpool will be without Virgil van Dijk who is suspended for the game.

However, Lovren is unlikely to play as his replacement. The Croatian suffered a hamstring injury against Wolves last month and has not travelled with the squad to their warm-weather training camp in the south of Spain.

Klopp admits that Lovren is not expected to be fit for Tuesday night's game.

He said: "I don't want to rule it out but I cannot really plan with it.

"He is not here for good reasons, because he cannot be part of training. We are back on Friday. Then from Saturday on, Dejan is back at Melwood and we will see.

"But in the moment we prepare the game and in this preparation Dejan is not involved. We have to find other solutions."

Klopp though did have better news on Georginio Wijnaldum who had been ill and missed training in Marbella.

His manager said that he was recovering and should be in contention to face the Bundesliga champions.

Liverpool are 1/1 to win the first-leg and take a lead to Germany with Bayern 23/10 and the draw 14/5.

Liverpool are without a match this weekend with the FA Cup fifth round ties taking place, having lost to Wolves in the third round.

Klopp's side are second in the Premier League table and follow the Bayern fixture with a match away to Manchester United next Sunday.

Liverpool are 6/5 to win their first Premier League title with Manchester City 8/11 to retain the trophy they won last year.

View all Soccer betting

Solskjaer feels the time is right

Interim Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the timing is just right for his side to take on Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League knockout stages.

The Red Devils have enjoyed a revival in fortunes since Solskjaer took charge just before Christmas, going unbeaten in 11 games, winning ten of them.

And Solskjaer believes that that run of form means his players will be up for the challenge of taking on PSG, with the first leg of their last-16 tie taking place at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening.

However, he is not getting carried away, despite the visitors being without Neymar and also, possibly, Edinson Cavani.

Solskjaer told reporters: "Any team that are missing players will feel the effect, but that will give the others the chance, so it makes them more unpredictable.

"But we've got a good guesstimate of how they're preparing for the game. We know we are playing against a team with confidence, because they are used to winning.

"We are confident, if ever there was a time for us to play big games – it's now. I just want my players to embrace the game."

With United and PSG having never previously met in a competitive fixture, Solskjaer is eager to remain focused on the job in hand and not on upcoming clashes with Chelsea and Liverpool.

He added: "We are going to play against some top teams in the next few games, but now we just focus on this one.

"One of the big pluses is that the players have been focused on the next task. We don’t look too far ahead, because then you lose your focus."

United are 11/8 to win on Tuesday evening and are 11/1 to do so by a 2-0 scoreline, with the Red Devils 6/5 to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

View all Soccer betting

City hit Chelsea for six

Manchester City moved back to the top of the Premier League table in emphatic fashion, beating Chelsea 6-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

City were 4-0 up before half an hour, exposing the visitors defensive frailties to move back above Liverpool on goal difference.

Chelsea began the game by attempting to press high up the pitch but their tactics were undermined within the first five minutes, City taking the lead.

It was the recalled Kevin De Bruyne who began the move with a quick free kick which found Bernardo Silva and, with the Chelsea defence failing to react, crossed for Raheem Sterling to pounce and turn the ball past Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Sergio Aguero should have scored shortly afterwards but, after being set up by Silva, shot wide with the goal gaping.

However, Aguero and City weren't denied for long and he doubled City's lead on 13 minutes, Oleksandr Zinchenko losing possession but the ball fell to the Argentine who shot into the top corner from about 25 yards out.

All Chelsea's plans were in tatters and City continued to pour forward to test a stretched defence and were rewarded on 19 minutes, Aguero getting a rather more scruffy goal but again Chelsea failed to clear the ball from their own area.

With less than half an hour of the game gone it was 4-0 when Ilkay Gundogan took advantage of a poor clearance from Antonio Rudiger and shot home.

City made it five about 10 minutes into the second half, Aguero completing his hat-trick from the penalty spot. Cesar Azpilicueta was ruled to have brought Sterling down in the area and the striker made no mistake from the spot to compound Chelsea's misery.

City have a heavy fixture list in coming weeks, taking on Newport in the FA Cup, Schalke in the Champions League and Chelsea again in the EFL Cup final and Pep Guardiola made changes with those games in mind.

The game already won he took off Aguero and De Bruyne, replaced by Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez.

It looked as if City were winding down but Guardiola recently suggested the Premier League title race could come down to goal difference and City scored another before the end to be nine goals ahead of Liverpool, Sterling getting on the end of another excellent moving involving David Silva and Zinchenko.

That completed the scoring and City, having played a game more than Liverpool, are back above them at the top of the Premier League.

City are 8/11 to win the Premier League with Liverpool 6/5.

City are 13/8 to reach the final of the Champions League this season with Liverpool 4/1 and Manchester United 14/1.

View all Soccer betting

Liverpool reaction delights Klopp

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says his team showed great character by responding to recent disappointments with a win over Bournemouth on Saturday.

The Reds headed into the clash at Anfield having drawn their last two matches with Leicester City and West Ham, allowing Manchester City to go back to the top of the league.

However, the Merseysiders returned to the Premier League summit with a convincing 3-0 win over Bournemouth and are now 1/1 to claim their first top-flight title in 28 years.

Having struggled to create openings in their previous two games, Liverpool were rampant against the Cherries and could have had more than the three goals scored by Sadio Mane, Georginio Wijnaldum and Mohamed Salah.

Klopp was delighted by the manner of the victory after their recent struggles, claiming it was a return to the "convincing" football the team have become known for under the German tactician.

"We are very self-critical," he said. "It was clear we were not happy with the two performances. There are reasons but we cannot speak too much about that in public because it always sounds like excuses.

"But in analysing it we have to speak about the right things. You can win or draw for different reasons but you don't want to just come through a game somehow.

"We want to play convincing football, we want to perform and that was the reaction we wanted to show."

Manchester City could reclaim top spot in the standings if they beat Chelsea on Sunday and are 1/2 to win the clash at the Etihad Stadium. The Blues are 6/1 and the draw is 18/5.

Having been eliminated from the FA Cup in the third round, Liverpool's next game is the clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford on 24th February.

View all Soccer betting

Premier League: Liverpool Pick off the Cherries…Over to You, City!

Liverpool 3-0 Bournemouth

Liverpool went back to the top of the Premier League today with a convincing win over travel-sick Bournemouth in front of a packed and delighted Anfield crowd.

With talk of pressure hampering the Reds’ progress, this was just what Jurgen Klopp needed to get his team back on track after two draws had handed the lead at the top over to Manchester City. It was Liverpool back at their best attacking with scintillating speed; a clean sheet with a depleted defence will have pleased the Liverpool boss no end.

Sadio Mane opened the scoring, and Mo Salah finished off the visitors after a brilliant Georgino Wijnaldum chip. Bournemouth are on a terrible run away from home, but take nothing away from Liverpool as this was a big win and fully deserved.

Highlights of the game

The nerves in the home end could have been shredded a little more in the first couple of minutes: Ryan Fraser almost put the Cherries ahead with a curling effort, but Alisson got a strong hand to the ball. Bournemouth fear no one, having recently thumped Chelsea 4-0, and this was an early warning for the Reds.

The Anfield crowd began to get restless but breathed a sigh of relief on 24 minutes when Sadio Mane met a James Milner cross and headed firmly into the Bournemouth net. The Reds relaxed immediately and were in the mood now, almost making it two, minutes later if Salah didn’t fluff his shot from 12 yards.

Sadio Mane scored in 4 successive Premier League matches during his time in England for the first time

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praises Sadio Mane following his goal

But ten minutes after the first came the second goal, and the crowd erupted. It was a beautiful finish from Georginio Wijnaldum who controlled a lofted ball before lobbing it over Artur Boruc and into the corner of the net.

Bournemouth’s Adam Smith had a good shout for a penalty just before the break when he fell under a challenge from Andy Robertson. But the referee was unimpressed, booking Smith as he retaliated. And that was the last real chance for the Cherries to get a result.

The game was over minutes after half-time after a lovely move from Liverpool, ending with a delightful flick from Roberto Firmino to tee up Mo Salah. The Egyptian curled the ball into the far corner to make it 3-0.

Liverpool seemed satisfied with that, and Bournemouth looked incapable of finding any way back into the game as the crowd relaxed into the afternoon. And it should have been four after a lightning Liverpool attack. Mo Salah crossed for Naby Keita. He really should have scored his first goal for Liverpool, but he blasted it high into the stands.

The home crowd was in a celebratory mood when they had another treat: Trent Alexander-Arnold came on after three weeks out injured. He almost capped his appearance with a goal, but Boruc did well to keep him out. No matter; this was a good day at the office for the Reds who went three points clear at the top.

Key statistics

All Liverpool eyes will be on the Etihad tomorrow to see whether Manchester City can return to the top with a win over Chelsea.  The Premier League 2019 betting odds point to a race to the end. The Sky Blues look to have a very slight edge at the moment, but this comfortable win will do Liverpool a power of good.

The Reds’ main men were on target: Mane’s opener was his fourth goal in consecutive league games, and Salah’s goal was his 49th in 62 Premier League games.

The Cherries have been shocking on the road. This was Bournemouth’s eighth consecutive away defeat. Happily for Eddie Howe, their home form has been outstanding. Meanwhile, Liverpool has the only unbeaten home record and are undefeated in 33 games at Anfield.

And this was Liverpool’s ninth win against Bournemouth in 11 meetings…no surprises, really.

Mohamed Salah is Premier League's top scorer with 17 goals

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring his side’s third goal

What’s next?

So while Liverpool fans keep up with the Premier League 2019 updates, the Reds will be preparing for another huge week of football. Klopp comes up against his old Bundesliga foes FC Bayern in the first knockout round of the Champions League.  us odds will give the best range of Asian Handicap Betting options for this game so take a look tomorrow.

And then, it’s away to Manchester United in the big Premier League game of next weekend…mouth-watering.

The Cherries will be pleased to be back at home next week when they entertain the in-form Wolves in what should prove to be an entertaining clash.

 

●●●

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS

Stay updated with everything sports and betting.

Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Bet NOW!

Poch: Reds remain the favourites

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino believes that Liverpool remain 'clear favourites' to win the Premier League title this season.

The Reds were knocked off top spot on goal difference in midweek as Manchester City claimed a 2-0 victory at Everton, but the Merseysiders have a game in hand on the Citizens and Pochettino is still picking Liverpool as the team to beat.

Pochettino told reporters: "I think the competition is so tough, the Premier League is so difficult and still they are (near) the top of the table and are clear favourites to win the Premier League.

"I think there are a lot of circumstances that happen during a period of a ten-month competition. They are suffering a similar situation to us with some injuries and I know it's not easy to keep the same level.

"The period is going to be tough for everyone, for the teams that want to win the trophy at the end, but no doubt that for sure Liverpool is going to be there until the end.

"We are there, third in the table. It is our objective to be involved to the end, to be a realistic contender."

Tottenham play host to Leicester City on Sunday, with the Londoners currently five points adrift of both City and the Reds.

The meeting of Spurs and the Foxes at the King Power Stadium earlier this season ended in a 2-0 victory for the visitors, with Heung-Min Son and Dele Alli their goalscorers.

Tottenham can be backed at 7/10 to earn three points on Sunday, while they are 8/1 to claim a 2-0 victory, with Son priced at 6/5 to score at any time in the game.

View all Soccer betting