By Gary Murray
Although it’s never ideal to draw in the first leg of a Champions League tie, especially at home, do you think 0-0 is actually a better result for Liverpool opposed to Bayern, considering they now have to open up and score at home?
Definitely. The match was a weird one, Bayern just didn’t seem to even try to win the game. It seems their plan was to not concede/ lose. It could be seen as a missed opportunity from our point of view, although I don’t see them keeping us out at the Allianz. As you’ve said, they will now have to open up and come at us at some point during the game, they can’t afford to keep it at 0-0 again because if we get one goal, they then have to get two, Liverpool just need to stay patient. Even if Bayern were to go one up, it makes no difference as one goal for us still puts us through. If we just bide our time and play our own game, the chances will come, we’ve just got to take them this time, which I’m confident we can.
Jordan Henderson was voted Man Of The Match on many media and news platforms after Tuesday’s game. Does he now keep his place for the next run of games? (Man Utd, Watford, Everton, Bayern)
It’s a difficult one really for me. I agree that he was immense against Bayern, a real captain's performance. However, I feel Fabinho and Wijnaldum are a must, as their form as a pair has been solid for a few weeks now. To play Henderson along side them could make the team too negative and reduce the amount of service the front three receive. I know Keita has been a bit hit and miss, but I’d stick with him. I think over the next few fixtures, you may see a couple of different partnerships in the middle, consisting of; Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Milner & Keita. Not so much Shaqiri, as I feel he’s been best when used as an impact player from the bench. It’s a good problem to have though, let’s just hope Klopp chooses the right players for the right challenges.
Moving on directly to Sunday’s game at Manchester United, is it more important for Liverpool to win or not get beat?
Another difficult one really. To not lose the game means we stay top of the league, but, that could halt our momentum and have a negative effect on the team going into the games against Watford and Everton. To go and win at Old Trafford at this stage of the season could and should give the players the confidence and belief to go on a serious run and heap the pressure right onto Manchester City. We’ve seen them hit a few stumbling blocks already this season, so if we can build a run of victories, hopefully that will get to the City players and help us open up more of a points gap, to gain a bit of breathing space. So for that reason I’d say it’s more important to go and win on Sunday.
Finally, with Manchester United and Everton the next two away games and Watford at home sandwiched in between, how important could this week be for Liverpool’s season?
Absolutely massive. If we come away from this next week with nine points, it really builds it up to be an amazing final few months in the league. I think you’ll start to see our supporters lining the streets again to welcome the team bus, as we’ve become accustomed to in these last few years, when it gets to the business end of the season. Not only are we playing three games in a week, but, as you’ve said, two out of the three are against our two biggest rivals in Everton and Manchester United, with both away from home. If we can’t get up and perform for this week, we’ll never be able to. It’s also a chance to further prove we mean business. City will be watching on Sunday thinking this is one of the more realistic games Liverpool could drop points in, so to get the points on the board and re-establish ourselves at the top of the table will be enormous going forward. Here’s hoping it’s not a nail biter and we cruise through the games. Somehow though, I think I’ll be gnawing away at my finger tips.