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Klopp has a history of putting hex on Bayern

China Daily | Updated: 2019-02-19 09:42 菲律宾申博太阳城官网
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp before the match on Aug 7, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

Liverpool boss aiming to replicate more magic in big test against Bavarian giant

BERLIN - Bayern Munich knows all too well how tough an opponent Jurgen Klopp can be.

Now in his fourth season at Anfield, the former Borussia Dortmund coach is facing Bayern for the first time at the helm of Liverpool.

Bayern visits the Reds for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 game on Tuesday, mindful that it didn't always come out on top against Klopp during his time at Dortmund.

Also on Tuesday, Lyon hosts Barcelona. On Wednesday, Atletico Madrid welcomes Juventus, and Schalke hosts Manchester City.

While Bayern defeated Klopp's Dortmund side in the 2013 Champions League final, Klopp had the upper hand in the 2012 German Cup final, which Dortmund won 5-2.

Klopp also led Dortmund to successive league titles at Bayern's expense in 2011 and 2012.

"Personally I like Jurgen Klopp a lot," said Bayern president Uli Hoeness, who revealed that he almost signed Klopp to take over before the club decided on Jurgen Klinsmann in 2008.

Liverpool has not lost a European match at Anfield since a 3-0 groupstage setback to Real Madrid in 2014, and Bayern has questions over its defense ahead of this trip.

The Bavarian powerhouse conceded twice to relegation-threatened Augsburg in the Bundesliga last Friday when Leon Goretzka scored an own-goal after just 13 seconds - the quickest own-goal in 56 years of the league. Bayern won 3-2.

"We'll have to deliver a whole other performance on the day, especially on defense," Bayern coach Niko Kovac said, warning of the danger posed by "the three up front," referring to Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

Liverpool also had the luxury of a week without a match before Bayern's visit, due to its early FA Cup exit. The Reds spent four days at a training camp in Marbella, Spain.

"Our little preparation for the rest of the season," Liverpool defender Andy Robertson said.

Bayern winger Kingsley Coman is an option for Kovac after fears of an injury sustained in Augsburg proved unfounded.

Coman scored twice, set up David Alaba's winner and struck the crossbar in Augsburg. He also underlined his growing importance to the side by scoring the winner against Hertha Berlin in the German Cup.

Liverpool will have to cope without central defender Virgil van Dijk as he serves a UEFA suspension for the first leg. Klopp faces the prospect of having to deploy midfielder Fabinho alongside Joel Matip with Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren both injured.

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