Liverpool will face Bayern Munich with an advantage when choosing their strategy. It’s something both Manuel Neuer and Niko Kovac have already admitted.
Drawing your home leg is never ideal. Despite that, Liverpool are in an advantageous position against Bayern on Wednesday and that’s because Jurgen Klopp has the luxury of surprise – Bayern will have to wait and see what he does.
Bayern head into the game knowing they’ll probably need multiple goals. Trying to scrape a 1-0 win against a side that attacks like Liverpool is a very risky strategy and chances are, they’ll concede.
And so everyone knows the Bayern strategy against Liverpool: attack and try to score goals. The only question is exactly how they do that but they won’t even know themselves until they see how their opponents play.
“We can’t sit back and defend without any plan,” Kovac told the press on Tuesday, per the Echo. “We have to get into the match rhythm and we know Liverpool are the strongest team in transitional play.
“If we don’t get this balance it could be all over.”
“I think Liverpool will attack and I don’t think it will be as defensive,” said Neuer, afterwards. “We will be more attacking but we will see how Liverpool press and attack us.”
Will Liverpool press from the off and try to blow an advanced Bayern side away? It would make sense, creating a frantic pace in a game where the Bavarians can’t afford to concede.
Or perhaps Klopp will sit back, keep it tight, draw Bayern out, and try to hit the space in behind. He has the players for it and Bayern would need to try and break down a compact defence twice if Liverpool can get just one that way.
It’s up to Klopp to pick the right strategy for Liverpool and the wrong one for Bayern. His opponents know they have to wait and react – and that could be Klopp’s biggest advantage.