After a hard-fought match at Turf Moor, Liverpool will now travel to San Siro for the first leg clash against Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League.
Cue the iconic anthem, Champions League is back!
The Reds will face Inter Milan, who are one of the dark horses of this tournament. Both of these sides are in good form this season, with Liverpool winning all matches in the group stage. While Inter Milan have shown their considerable attacking pedigree, by registering the most shots in the group stage.
Despite the Nerazzurri’s league position, they would know that they are the underdogs. But Simone Inzaghi would know that beating Liverpool in this moment will be a clear statement of strength. Liverpool meanwhile would want to keep firing on all cylinders, to go all the way.
It is often said that there are no easy ties in the Champions League. The statement is backed up by facts and prior experience, as upsets are common in football. In fact, Liverpool have caused a few of their own. Therefore, Liverpool needs to be wary of Inter Milan.
Inter Milan v Liverpool: Match Preview & Key Insights
Liverpool will travel to the iconic San Siro, to face Inter Milan for just the fifth time in the Champions League. The Reds have won 3 of the previous 4 encounters against the Italian giants. Coincidently, the previous encounter of these teams has been in the round of 16 as well. In that encounter, Liverpool beat Inter Milan both home and away; winning 3-0 on aggregate.
The Reds have the chance to become just the second English side to beat both Inter Milan and AC Milan in a single campaign (the first being Tottenham Hotspur in 2010-11). A win would be an achievement for Jurgen Klopp as well. Because he would become the first German coach to win 50 Champions League matches.
For the Nerazzurri, Edin Džeko would like to continue his scoring record against Liverpool. The Bosnian is one of three players to have scored against Liverpool in both legs of a knockout tie along with Arsenal’s Emmanuel Adebayor in 2007-08 and Chelsea’s Didier Drogba in 2008-09.
This game would also mark Mohamed Salah’s 50th appearance for Liverpool in this competition. The Egyptian has scored 32 goals in his 49 appearances. Only Cristiano Ronaldo (51 goals) and Robert Lewandowski (36 goals), have scored more at this stage.
In Jurgen Klopp’s own words, this might be the strongest side that he has ever managed. Apart from Divock Origi, and maybe Jordan Henderson, there is no major absentee in the squad.
The addition of Luis Diaz has added an incredible option off the bench alongside Firmino. Additionally, Liverpool has decent back-ups in almost all positions. Klopp might even make late substitutions to overwhelm Inter. All-in-all, Liverpool look really strong squad-wise.
Liverpool probable starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Elliott, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Jota, Mane
Inter Milan vs Liverpool: Anfield Home Prediction
Inter have done really well this season and deservedly sit at the top of the Serie A table. They have a squad of seasoned professionals as well, alongside a shrewd tactician in their manager, Simone Inzaghi.
Additionally, the game will be played at the San Siro, so Inter Milan have their home crowd behind them. However, they don’t have many quality options on the bench, when compared to The Reds. In fact, Liverpool have a better squad overall. Liverpool have been in better form as well.
Thus, Liverpool are the favourites to win this tie. It would be an even contest, but we expect Liverpool to win 2-1.
However, fans must be cautiously optimistic.