Champions League semi-finals: Liverpool scouting
How they got here
P10 W6 D4 L0 F33 A7
Play-offs: W6-3 agg v Hoffenheim – W1-2 (a), W4-2 (h)
Group E winners: D2-2 v Sevilla (h), D1-1 v Spartak (a), W0-7 v Maribor (h), W3-0 v Maribor (h), D3-3 v Sevilla (a), W7-0 v Spartak (h)
Round of 16: W5-0 v Porto – W0-5 (a), D0-0 (h)
Quarter-finals: W5-1 v Man. City – W3-0 (h), W1-2 (a)
Possible starting XI
Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Milner; Mané, Firmino, Salah
Style of play
A high press has always been key for Jürgen Klopp but this Liverpool side may have mastered it better even than his Borussia Dortmund vintage. Tireless full-backs, an industrious midfield and a front three with scintillating pace contribute to a full-throttle approach.
Top Fantasy point scorers
Forward: Roberto Firmino (65 points)
Forward: Mohamed Salah (57 points)
Forward: Sadio Mané (51 points)
Jürgen Klopp: The man who once described his teams’ style as “heavy metal”. As demonstrative on the touchline as he is on the training ground, the German’s charm off the pitch and progress on it have enamoured him to the Reds’ supporters. The 50-year-old has experience of one previous UEFA Champions League final, his Dortmund side losing to Bayern at Wembley in 2013.
Why might they win it?
Liverpool proved against Manchester City that there is more to their game than just scoring goals, showing a defensive solidity that was lacking earlier in the campaign. Klopp’s team are maturing fast and head into the last four with the wind in their sails.
Room for improvement?
Faced with a City “whirlwind”, as Klopp put it, Liverpool too often resorted to hopeful long balls during the opening half of their quarter-final second leg. They will need more composure in possession at the Stadio Olimpico, where they could encounter a similar onslaught.
What you didn’t know already
Liverpool scored their 300th goal under Klopp in the recent 3-0 victory over Bournemouth in the Premier League. The Reds have netted 121 times in all competitions this season, the attacking trio of Salah, Firmino and Mané sharing 82 of those strikes between them.