Liverpool will host AS Roma in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday at Anfield. The Reds cruised into the last four after brushing aside Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate.
Roma, meanwhile, recorded one of the most astounding victories in Champions League history, overturning a 4-1 first leg deficit to dump Barcelona out of the competition.
While it is going to be a mouthwatering contest, here are three reasons why Liverpool can beat Roma and secure a place in the Champions League final.
Liverpool’s display against Manchester City in the Champions League must have worried AS Roma. That opening 31 minutes at Anfield when the Reds tore apart City underlined the credentials of their attackers.
The reason for their eye-catching, blistering and rampant attack is the Reds’ formidable front-three: Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. Salah, in particular, has been a revelation since returning to England.
The Egyptian has been a brilliant player with incredible speed and dribbling abilities, wreaking havoc at will this season. Mane has equally been a devastating player, while Firmino continues to be a vital cog in Liverpool’s machine.
In all competitions, Liverpool have lost just once in 15 matches. Apart from the front-three, the other players are peaking at the right time too.
James Milner has been a stellar performer in the last few months, with the midfielder having been one of the keys to Liverpool’s European success this term.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain now appears to be a different beast in the midfield, while skipper Jordan Henderson has stuck to his task well.
In the full-back department, Trent Alexander-Arnold continues to come of age and has been delivering the goods consistently. Andrew Robertson has excelled at left-back after enduring a slow start to life at Anfield.
The matter of fact is that if these few players can play like they have done throughout the competition, Liverpool can certainly make it past Roma.
Under Jurgen Klopp, defending has been Liverpool’s Achilles heel. On one day, the produce the best performance to defeat the unbeaten Manchester City and on the other, they get dumped out of the FA Cup by West Brom.
Such has been the case with Liverpool as Klopp’s tactics make them tailormade for facing the big boys. The best thing about Liverpo is that they have the ability to break down defences and score past literally any team on the planet.
However, what has haunted Liverpool time and again is their defending, with the most recent one coming at West Brom where they squandered a two-goal lead.
Nevertheless, the defensive frailties have considerably reduced following the arrival of Virgil van Dijk in January. The towering Dutchman has brought some much-needed calming presence to the back-line. Van Dijk’s signing has also helped in getting the best out of Dejan Lovren, who has thrived alongside the Dutchman.
While Alexander-Arnold and Robertson have performed admirably well in defence, goalkeeper Loris Karius has been very good for the Reds of late.
The matter of fact that Liverpool have conceded only 7 goals in the Champions League this campaign says it all – Liverpool can defend.
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