Preview: Liverpool vs. Inter Milan

Preview: Liverpool vs. Inter Milan

Boasting a healthy 2-0 advantage from the first leg, Liverpool welcome Inter Milan to Anfield for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday evening.

Jurgen Klopp’s side struck through Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah at San Siro, with the Scudetto holders facing an uphill battle to keep their dreams of continental glory alive.

With San Siro not being the same formidable ground it once was for English clubs, Liverpool did not need to be told twice to stamp their authority on the Nerazzurri’s turf and put themselves in the driving seat for a spot in the Champions League quarter-finals.

After a perfect group-stage record of six wins from six, Klopp’s side made it seven on the bounce as Firmino headed home from Andy Robertson’s ball in the 75th minute before hotshot Salah wrapped up the scoring with seven minutes left to play.

Having already placed the EFL Cup in their trophy cabinet and successfully booked their tickets to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, the quadruple dream is certainly well and truly alive for the hopeful Anfield faithful, no matter how much Klopp wants to downplay it.

The VAR analysts were out in full force when West Ham United paid a visit to Anfield for Saturday’s Premier League game, with Sadio Mane just about managing to stay onside and tap home from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s ball – whether it was a shot, cross or pass only the right-back knows – as Liverpool kept the pressure on leaders Manchester City, who remain six points clear after thrashing Manchester United in the derby.

Victory over the Hammers marked a 12th win on the bounce in all competitions for the ruthless Reds, who could become the first English team ever to win their opening eight games of a single Champions League campaign, and one would not put it past Klopp’s men to achieve that feat at a ground where they have not lost for over a year.

There is no other formula than a goal-laden performance for Simone Inzaghi’s Inter if they are to have a chance of advancing to the last eight this week, but thankfully for the Nerazzurri boss, his strikers dusted off their best shooting boots for a thrilling warm-up victory over Salernitana.

Having failed to make the net ripple in the top flight since December, Lautaro Martinez returned to scoring ways in emphatic fashion with three of his side’s goals in that 5-0 thumping, and a man 11 years his senior in Edin Dzeko completed the rout with a quickfire brace of his own before the 70-minute mark.

When Martinez was struggling to fire, so were Inter, who endured a woeful four-game run without a win or even a single goal before teaching Salernitana a footballing lesson, but a second successive Scudetto is not out of the question for the reigning champions.

Not since the 2010-11 season have Inter Milan managed to make it as far as the last eight in the Champions League, but only one team in Champions League history has ever come back from a two-goal deficit in the first leg at home to advance – Manchester United against Paris Saint-Germain in 2018-19.

Furthermore, the 2-0 win at San Siro marked Liverpool’s third win and third clean sheet on the bounce against Inter in the Champions League, and only a performance as clinical as Friday’s will do for the visitors if an astounding Merseyside comeback is to be launched.

Liverpool Champions League form:
WWWWWW
Liverpool form (all competitions):
WWWWWW
Inter Milan Champions League form:
DWWWLL
Inter Milan form (all competitions):
DLLDDW

We say: Liverpool 2-1 Inter Milan
The travelling Nerazzurri faithful will hope to see Martinez in particular kick on after a confidence-boosting evening in the league, and Liverpool’s defence is certainly not impenetrable.

However, Klopp’s side have been unplayable in the past few weeks and have already gotten the better of Inzaghi’s side at San Siro, so we can only envisage the Reds advancing to the last eight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.