John Aldridge identifies the one big factor Liverpool have to avoid against Roma tonight
Liverpool goal scoring great John Aldridge has fired out a warning to Reds boss Jurgen Klopp and his players players, as he believes the only danger in their second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Roma could be a moment of ill-discipline.
Free-scoring Liverpool take a 5-2 first leg advantage with them to Rome as they eye up a meeting with Real Madrid in next month’s final in Kiev, with Aldridge suggesting a sending off for one of Klopp’s men could open the door for a Roma fightback.
“The one thing they need to guard against is a sending off as that could give Roma the chance they need to strike, so discipline and focus need to be applied by all of Klopp’s players,” Aldo tells us.
“We saw what happened at Manchester City at the start of this season when Sadio Mane was sent off and that should be a warning to Liverpool going into this game.
“Klopp’s side were a match for Man City until they went down to ten men at the Etihad Stadium and then all hell broke lose and the final scoreline was a 5-0 hammering.
“Roma are not as good as Man City from an attacking perspective, but we saw some nerves from Liverpool when Pep Guardiola’s side scored the first goal in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final, as they tried to overcome a three-goal deficit.”
Aldridge suggests Roma will be fearful of a re-match with Liverpool’s front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino after they were torn to shreds by the attacking trio at Anfield last week, as he suggests a clear mind will be crucial in the cauldron of the Rome’s Stadio Olympico.
“My advice to Liverpool would go something like this – imagine the tie is level at 0-0 and just go out and try to win this individual game,” he added.
“The two late goals Roma scored against Liverpool at Anfield last week gave them some hope for the second leg, but Jurgen Klopp’s men are still in a very strong position with a 5-2 lead.
“Roma will be scared stiff of what is coming at them after they were torn apart by Liverpool’s front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino last week and that fear factor will help them in this second match.
“I fancy Liverpool to score in Rome, with the 29 goals they have blasted in the Champions League this season confirming them have the most potent forward line in the competition.
Real Madrid are the second highest scorers with 18 goals, so Liverpool will fancy their chances of grabbing an away goal or two and that will secure their passage to the final in Kiev.
“Just keep things tight in the first 20 minutes, don’t give them any encouragement and at some point, they are going to have to take risks to try and get back into the game.
“That is when Liverpool’s attacking firepower can come into play and you would fancy an away goal or two at that point to kill off the tie.
“I am not looking at the potential final against Real Madrid as I’m one of those Liverpool fans who does not want to tempt fate.
“Let’s get this second leg in Rome out of the way, sidestep any more injuries as they have been mounting up in recent weeks and then we can start to talk about the prospect of a sixth European title for Liverpool in Kiev next month.”
John Aldridge, Paul McGrath and Shay Given are appearing at the Bord Gais theatre in Dublin next Monday (May 7th) for a night that is certain to stir emotions for all Irish soccer fans. Tickets are still available.