Champions League nights return to Anfield tonight, when Bayern Munich arrive to take on Liverpool.
In a game pitting Jurgen Klopp against his eternal former enemies, it’s also incidentally a game of much significance for Xherdan Shaqiri.
The Swiss winger faces his former side and with all attention towards the Reds’ attacking line, he’ll be primed to make his mark against his former employers. Despite being poorly utilized in Bavaria, Shaqiri still has the utmost love and respect for the German giants and his slightly bizarre career path has taken him here.
However, once the whistle blows, all respect goes out the door.
With Liverpool facing a defensive crisis of sorts due to Virgil Van Dijk’s suspension along with injuries to Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren, they can’t rely upon grinding through a victory. Jurgen Klopp will rally his troops forward to produce other majestic Champions League night and head to the Allianz Arena with a big lead.
Due to a makeshift defence, Shaqiri could play in midfield. While the Swiss isn’t conventionally a midfielder, he’s always pumped up by Anfield’s atmosphere and willing to work for the team, as displayed with his two-goal contribution in the win over Manchester United in December.
Indeed, Shaqiri’s performance-level goes up, including his work-rate as he works profoundly to win back the ball and start attacking.
Out of the six goals he’s scored for Liverpool, five have come at home (stats via Transfermarkt). He just loves playing in front of the Kop and knowing his ability to pop out of nowhere to score goals, create chances with his beautiful left-foot and never-say-die attitude, Shaqiri’ could be Liverpool’s hero to mount misery upon his former side.