Forget Salah, Mane And Firmino This Liverpool Player Can Help Jurgen Klopp's Men Defeat Bayern Munich
Liverpool face a make-or-break week in their quest for Premier League and Champions League glory as they firstly host Bayern Munich tomorrow evening in a mouth-watering last-16 first leg tie of Europe's elite club competition, while on Sunday afternoon they make the short trip to Old Trafford to face a resurgent Manchester United, as the Reds look to regain their three point advantage at the top of the Premier League.
Jurgen Klopp has instructed his players to stay fully focused on Tuesday's clash with Bayern Munich and not veer their attentions to their weekend clash with United, but the German boss will be without his star player Virgil van Dijk, who misses the game through suspension after he picked up three yellow cards in the group stages.
While Liverpool showed last season in the Champions League that they could adopt the stance of scoring more than their opposition, and it saw the likes of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino come to the fore, it will be crucial tomorrow night that the Reds can ensure their defence is rock-solid in van Dijk's absence.
Dejan Lovren's fitness is unknown 24 hours ahead of the monster clash with the German heavyweights and if the Croatian international is out then it could see either Fabinho or Jordan Henderson drop back into central defence, however, it's the other centre half that can prove the key component of Klopp's starting XI.
Joel Matip has taken over from the injured Joe Gomez as van Dijk's partner in recent matches, and with the Dutch sensation out of this game then Matip will need to step up and show his qualities as he will have to deal with a quality Bayern attacking charge.
In particular, Polish international legend Robert Lewandoski will be the man the Reds rearguard need to stop, and Matip is likely to be handed that job in stopping Lewandoski, who tops the Champions League charts for goals this season bagging eight already in the tournament.
Lewandoski has been widely regarded as one of premier strikers in world football since the turn of the century, and he can cause some huge problems for the Liverpool defence, if they are not at their best, and so Matip can be the man that steps up in van Dijk's absence and ensure Liverpool bag a clean sheet heading into the second leg at the Allianz Arena.