The anticipation amongst our resident Kopites is growing in the Transfer Tavern ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League clash against Manchester City this evening.
Jurgen Klopp’s side welcome Pep Guardiola’s City slickers and soon to be Premier League champions to Anfield tonight for a fixture which looks destined to be a spectacle to saviour for the onlooking neutral supporters. Liverpool’s 4-3 victory over City back in January proved that The Reds are capable of beating any team on their day, but they will need to up their game once again if they wish to record another positive result over the travelling side this evening.
The dynamic of the tie will be completely different in comparison to the Premier League clash in January, as Liverpool’s desire to keep a clean sheet on home turf will undoubtedly lead to a more cautious approach than the one they showed last time out. However, Liverpool will still provide a threat in the final-third that is almost unrivalled in European football, and a key reason for that is Roberto Firmino’s presence at the spearhead of their attack.
The Brazilian international has been in sensational form for the club this season in a deep-lying striker role, and his performances have been integral to the success of Mo Salah since his transfer from AS Roma. His ability to link-up with his fellow attacking players and dissect defences through a combination of dazzling dribbling, incisive passing and deft flicks has brought the best out of the players around him, whilst his goal-scoring record also proves he has the clinical edge to find the back of the net on a regular basis.
Firmino (valued at £45 million by Transfermarkt) is a complete striker who has the potential to single-handedly determine the outcome of any fixture, so if he brings his a-game to Anfield this evening then Liverpool will have a fantastic opportunity to take a positive result into the second leg next week.
Every single one of Liverpool’s players will need to be at the top of their game to match City tonight, but without an exemplary performance from Firmino they will struggle to get the better of their high-flying opponents.
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