Liverpool may have finished second in their group, but there’s no doubt they’re the favourites to beat Bayern Munich. The five times Champions League winners are on fire this season and look like winning the Premier League.
Bayern are an ageing side, and can run into issues against sides who have a huge amount of pace – their league rivals Borussia Dortmund proved that this season, and Liverpool will want to exploit that.
With the tie in mind, we’ve put together the best combined XI, using experience and pace.
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Lord of the Champions League
Starring:@SergioRamos as Frodo
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Gollum@KMbappe as Sam
Leo Messi as Sauron's Eye@LuisSuarez9, @3gerardpique & @Phil_Coutinho as Nazgûl@Cristiano as... himself pic.twitter.com/wtCkSix2q6
? "One Trophy to Rule Them All" ?
Liverpool fans remember life before and after Alisson. In years gone by, Manuel Neuer would be a shoe-in for the goalie spot, but Alisson has overtaken him. Neuer is also world class, but he’s been hit with injuries and hit and miss over the last two seasons – Alisson has been top draw, and can play it out from the back even better than Neuer.
One of the absolute bargain buys in Liverpool’s history. The left back has filled a position that has been troublesome for some time. He can defend, is good at going forward and this season in Europe he’s shown that he can stand up against the best wingers. A key man and someone who more than belongs in this combined side.
Virgil van Dijk
The best centre back in Europe at the minute? Mats Hummels certainly thinks so, and said as much. Van Dijk is the reason Liverpool’s defence has been much better over the last 12 months and looks like being a bargain buy. Cool, calm and assured on the ball, and no stranger to popping up with big goals as well.
Van Dijk’s biggest fan gets the nod to partner him, and has shown over the last few years he’s one of the best defenders in the game. Hummels is a classy player and the perfect partner for VVD.
When Lionel Messi asks Barcelona to look into signing you, and that is backed by club legend Xavi, you’re not doing badly. What a player Kimmich is and he’s certainly the future of football. Trent Alexander-Arnold has been great for Liverpool, but can get caught out at times, meaning Kimmich gets the nod here.
Many people thought Gini could see his place in the Liverpool side thrown into doubt with the arrivals of Naby Keita and Fabinho, but he’s thrived. He brings a calming influence to a side – something that is much needed in Champions League knockout ties.
He’s come into his own of late in the Liverpool squad. What a versatile player he is, and we’ve seen the Brazilian dominate games and control things from the middle of the park. He’s everything a manager would want, with his talent, work rate and dive to succeed.
There were a few candidates for the final position in midfield, but Alcantara’s creativity edges the other players out. James Milner and Jordan Henderson aren’t quite at that level, and as a central midfielder, he can spray the ball well, along with making great forward runs.
Imagine doing any combined side and leaving Mo Salah out. The man of the moment, and certainly not a one season wonder. Salah has taken Liverpool to the next level. After his terrible injury in the Champions League final last season, Salah will be looking to put the bad memories behind him and go one better.
Sadio Mane hugging a GOAT pic.twitter.com/J76eOzRAwl— Mo Salah Facts (@MoSalahFacts) February 11, 2019
Many people may raise their eyebrows at this one, given Robben’s age, but this could well be his final hurrah at Bayern. There’s no doubt that injuries and age have taken a toll, but on his day, he’s the best in the world at cutting in from the right wing and using his lethal left foot to score.
It’s hard to leave Roberto Firmino out but Lewa has done it time and time again on the biggest stage of all. There were so many top-class options for the main striker position, with Thomas Muller also missing out. Lewa has eight goals in six Champions League games so far this season and is lethal.