Will Jurgen Klopp Have A Legitimate Excuse If Liverpool Falter Against Bayern Munich?
After last year’s Champions League success in getting all the way to the final in Kiev, Jurgen Klopp is surely aware that the expectations for his bolstered Liverpool side are stratospheric.
Through to the Last 16 of the competition through the slitheriest of margins, the Reds failed to make the most of a first-leg home advantage at Anfield after welcoming Group E table toppers Bayern Munich in mid-February in the first of the knockout stages.
This week they now travel to Germany, to the Allianz Arena for the return leg, hoping for passage into the Quarter-Finals for the second-year running in the premier European competition.
We know that Liverpool fans hate The Sun, but they’ll certainly welcome it in Bavaria, with the region having been experiencing a bitter ‘cold snap’ (Liverpool Echo) of late.
Only a month ago Klopp blamed the snow on the pitch at Anfield for their draw with Leicester City, even though it was observed that groundsman were clearing the home attacking side of the field at half-time.
The German manager also famously blamed the wind at the beginning of the year in his side’s FA Cup exit to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux, as well as for the goalless draw with Everton at Goodison Park which crushed their leading margin in the Premier League title race.
Granted, it was more of a legitimate excuse the past weekend, when the ball was visibly influenced by strong gales on Merseyside whilst the Reds hosted Burnley in their last league fixture, taking the ball away from Mohamed Salah at one point.
However, the BBC 14-day weather forecast for Munich makes for more positive reading for Klopp & Co.
After snow cleared on the Monday and started to warm up again on Tuesday, it is predicted that there will be a low chance of rain and a moderate breeze come kick-off time at 9pm local time.
This will hopefully make for a ‘fair’ encounter, uninfluenced by the elements.
Bayern Munich have a strong home record in the Bundesliga this season, having only lost once this season, and were unbeaten in the Champions League group stage.
Irregardless of the result, Liverpool fans will be hoping that Klopp precipitates an early exit for Munich and turns the heat up on the other teams in the competition with a confident and assured - cool? - performance away from home.
Bayern Munich v Liverpool kicks off on Wednesday 12th March 2019 at 20:00 (GMT).