Match Preview: Liverpool vs Inter Milan - Key battles, team news, prediction

Match Preview: Liverpool vs Inter Milan - Key battles, team news, prediction

The final leg of Liverpool's last-16 Champions League tie against Inter Milan will take place at Anfield tonight. The clash will kick-off at 20:00 local time.

The Reds possess a 2-0 lead heading into the match. Liverpool were far from convincing in their previous Premier League fixture.

Jurgen Klopp's side only secured a 1-0 victory over West Ham United on Saturday.

Inter Milan on the other hand defeated Salernitana 5-0 in the Serie A last weekend.

Key Battle of the second leg:

Liverpool simply need to negate Inter Milan's attacking threat early on. As the Serie A side are chasing the game, it would be fair to assume that they will come out with plenty of intent.

If Klopp's team can defend well early on, then we fully expect Inter Milan to crash out of the Champions League.

The reality is, Liverpool have such a potent forward line (Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Luis Diaz etc). We can see the Reds finding the back of the net at some stage.

So, if Klopp's defence holds up, a comfortable Liverpool victory could be on the cards (match and aggregate).

Team News:

Klopp has confirmed that Thiago Alcantara (hamstring) and Joel Matip (illness) are likely to be fit for the second leg clash against Inter Milan.

However, forward Roberto Firmino is unlikely to be risked as a result of muscular problems.

In team news for Inter Milan, midfielder Nicolo Barella is currently serving the second of a two-game European suspension.

Ivan Perisic missed Inter Milan's win over Salernitana due to a muscle injury. However, the wing-back has reportedly recovered and could feature against Liverpool.

Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago, Salah, Jota, Diaz.

Predicted Inter Milan XI: Handanovic, Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni, Dumfries, Vidal, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Gosens, Dzeko, Martinez.

Klopp's View:

Liverpool have the upper hand heading into the second leg against Inter Milan. However, Klopp has made it clear that his side will need to be switched on if they are to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

“Two-nil is probably the lead that has been turned over most often in the history of football,” the 54-year-old said in his pre-game press conference, as quoted by The Standard.

“If you are [at] half-time and two up and you think you are already through, then you are already on the wrong path.

“The result was much better than I expected. It was a really tough tie and a difficult game to play. We know they have real quality. They won their last game 5-0... it was really impressive.

“They are an experienced team, and they don't come here as tourists. They want to attack the game, and we are not a team who defends results and tries to scrape through. Let's see what we can get from it.”

The aforementioned comments highlight that Klopp means business. He is clearly determined to win his second European Cup, and we don't blame him. It is the biggest trophy in club football after all.

Prediction:

Liverpool showed in the first leg that they are a better side than Inter Milan.

Therefore, we do expect the Reds to win again providing they perform to a reasonable level across all departments on the pitch.

As we have already pointed out, if Liverpool can defend well early on, the game should open up for the attacking players.

Top-class players such as Diogo Jota, Salah, Mane, and Diaz are bound to take a chance or two.

Tune into our live blog of the game on our official Twitter page.

Liverpool 2 Inter Milan 0 (4-0 aggregate)

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