Liverpool welcomes Benfica for the Champions League quarterfinals 2nd leg tie at Anfield with already two goals cushion into the fixture.
Klopp’s men have registered a 3-1 away win at Estadio da Luz last week. The Reds are just a foot away from registering a spot in the semi-finals of the competition.
Liverpool vs Benfica: Match Preview
Liverpool will turn their attention to the important clash against Benfica in the return leg of the Quarterfinals of the Champions League. The Reds are in the midst of a censorious period with Liverpool chasing down an unprecedented “Quadruple”.
Klopp & Co. are back from an intense game at Etihad in the so-called game of the season. Liverpool fought hard to come back twice against the robust Manchester City side. Moreover, another date with Pep Guardiola’s City side is on the cards next weekend at Wembley.
Meanwhile, in the Champions League, the Reds look confident to progress to the final four to set a clash with either Villareal or Bayern Munich.
Goals from Ibrahima Konate, Sadio Mane, and Luis Diaz secured a vital win last week. But the Portuguese side did score a goal through their star forward Darwin Nunez.
Previously, in the Round of 16, Inter Milan shocked Liverpool to register a 1-0 victory but which was not enough for the Nerazzurri to progress. But Benfica can take positives from it and hope for a similarly tricky night for Liverpool.
Not to forget, Nelson Verissimo’s side have already shocked Barcelona and Ajax in this year’s competition. The Portuguese manager will certainly look to set another shocker, who is reportedly stepping aside for the incoming manager Roger Schmidt at the end of the season.
But it has been 20 years since Liverpool were last eliminated from the Champions League knockout stages after prevailing in the first leg. Also, so far, out of 11 meetings between both sides, Liverpool have registered seven wins while Benfica notched four.
Nunez’s strike has at least given Benfica a slight glimmer of hope for the trip to Anfield. Moreover, the Uruguayan was the star of the show at the weekend scoring three goals in a 3-1 Primeira Liga success over Belenenses to take his tally for the season in all competitions to 31 strikes.
The Benfica No.9 is in scintillating form this season and has been linked with many top clubs in Europe.
Well, pretty sure Klopp isn’t writing them off yet.
Jurgen Klopp doesn’t have any injury crisis and currently working with a fully fit squad at his disposal. With a bunch of talented team players at the helm, selecting the matchday squad becomes a big concern for the manager.
Important games coming thick and fast, Klopp has wealth of options.
The German may elect to start with Roberto Firmino and Luis Diaz alongside Mo Salah in the attack. Meanwhile, players like Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Takumi Minamino, and Divock Origi should feature in the matchday squad having missed out on Sunday’s game.
Naby Keita has been pulling off his role quite well recently. Keita is sure to be in the midfield three along with Jones and Fabinho.
Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Keita, Fabinho, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Diaz
Liverpool vs Benfica: Anfield Home Prediction
After a high-intensity game against Manchester City, Klopp will look to give recess to some of his key players. Meanwhile, Benfica on the other side needs to go all out with their guns blazing to stand a chance of making it into the semi-finals.
But the home side with no injuries and plenty of attacking options should prove too strong once again.
Liverpool looks very likely to prevail over Benfica with a 2-1 win.