Liverpool v. Bayern Munich Champions League Game
This is part of our Champions League coverage, as always, there’s more on our Champions League page!
Group C runner up, Liverpool, faces the top dog in group E, Bayern Munich. Bayern advanced through the group stage with ease while Liverpool had to sweat it out until the remaining results came in from their group.
Although Liverpool is one of the major players in the English Premier League, they haven’t lifted much in the line of trophies. They spent heavily to attempt to fix their problem areas and were selected as one of Darkhorse teams because of their early season form. Liverpool is desperate to win trophies and have put their pocketbooks on display to do so.
After Liverpool’s massive spending spree in the offseason, they have moved to favorites to win the Premier League. They’ve started to create a widening gap between the rest of the Premier League sides in recent weeks. At this point, they look almost assured a place in the Champions League for next season unless they entirely unravel.
As dominant as they’ve been in the domestic league, it’s been nearly opposite in the Champions League. Liverpool advances over Napoli solely by goals scored after tying on points and goal differential. Liverpool has been fantastic at Anfield, but have recorded three consecutive losses away from it. They are averaging 2.67 goals per home game while conceding a mere 0.67 goals in route to three wins and the full 9 points.
Bayern Munich hasn’t been the same since Pep Guardiola left to take the managerial vacancy at the Etihad. They’ve had a series of short-term managers and have seen their previously iron-grip on the Bundesliga loosen markedly. Bayern Munich is still one of the most decorated sides in both domestic and international competition. They have won the Champions League (or it’s equivalent) 5 times to go along with 28 domestic titles.
Domestically, it’s hard to say that Bayern Munich has “fallen” because they have gone all the way down to second. However, they’ve been much better away from than at home which is rather strange. They boast the 1st-ranked away form in the Bundesliga but are 5th-ranked in home form. In away games in the league, they are averaging 2.4 goals scored per game while conceding less than one goal per game on average.
Interestingly, in Champions League play they’ve actually split their points right down the middle in terms of home and away points. Even more oddly, they have actually scored less and allowed more goals on the road in the Champions League. They averaging 2.34 goals scored per game on the road while conceding an average of one goal per game.
What to expect
While Bayern Munich hasn’t had the same away record, Liverpool has been atrocious on the road in the Champions League. Jürgen Klopp had to rely on outcomes in other games to advance to this point, and he won’t want to have to do that again. I think Liverpool will come flying out of the gate trying to consolidate their lead the best they can before heading to the Allianz Arena for the second leg.