Liverpool Champions League Team News : The Plan B That Jurgen Klopp Could Resort To For Bayern Munich Clash
This week Liverpool can go further to try and emulate their 2017/19 Champions League route to the final with a convincing performance when they welcome Bayern Munich to Anfield in the first leg of their Last 16 clash in Europe’s elite club tournament.
They’ll have to do it without the world’s most expensive defender however. Virgil Van Dijk is an absolutely huge miss for Liverpool, the peerless centre-back being suspended for the first match after collecting three yellow cards in the group stages of the competition, which the Merseyside club only narrowly squeezed through.
When quizzed by the media as to who would be playing in defence - whether it be midfielder Fabinho or if Dejan Lovren could make a return from injury - Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp joked that the journalist ‘wanted the whole line-up’ but there is a real issue that Liverpool could suffer against a potent Bayern Munich line-up ladled with European expertise.
“Of course he’s a massive miss, a big miss,”
skipper Jordan Henderson said (via LFC).
“I think he’s played every game this season so I think you can see how important he is for us as a team. But at the same time I feel as though we have enough quality in the team to be able to cope with it tomorrow night, and not just relying on our two centre-halves to defend - it’s up to the whole team to defend and we do it together.
“So whoever plays there I am sure will know the role and what’s expected of them. But of course he’ll be a big loss.”
Klopp stressed in his pre-match press conference that Lovren could very well make a return to the fold if he manages to recover from a hamstring injury and that choosing Fabinho as a ‘Plan B’ option to drop-back from his more natural midfield position is not a guarantee.
“If – if – [Fabinho plays there] in the Champions League against Bayern Munich it’s not an easy job,”
Klopp said on Monday.
“But we thought it makes sense we don’t leave our last row alone defending against Bayern; [so] it all depends how we defend in general. That’s it.
“There will be a lot of moments where we have to defend and we worked on that, we tried to work on that because we respect the quality of Bayern Munich a lot – speed, technique, experience, it’s all there what you need to be successful.
“We respect that and we try to make the best of the situation.”
Liverpool versus Bayern Munich takes place on Tuesday 19th February at 20:00 (GMT).