Friday 21 September 2018

What time, what channel and our verdict: Everything you need to know about Man City v Liverpool

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp shakes hands with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola after the match. Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp shakes hands with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola after the match. Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

All eyes are on the Etihad as Liverpool look to protect a three-goal lead against Manchester City and progress to the last four of the Champions League. Here is all you need to know about this week's games.

TUESDAY

MANCHESTER CITY (0) LIVERPOOL (3) – TV3 (7.45pm)

City captain Vincent Kompany has sounded the rallying cry for his team as they plot an improbable comeback against Liverpool after their first leg mauling at Anfield.

"This tie is not over," declares Kompany. "We have shown so many times this season that we can score a lot of goals against any opposition and if we need to score five times against Liverpool in the second leg, we can do it. "

Barcelona's comeback from a 4-0 first leg defeat against Paris Saint-Germain in last season's Champions League may inspire City to believe they can fight back against Liverpool, but only two sides in the history of the modern competition have come back from three goals down in a second leg revival.

One to watch: Saido Mane (Liverpool)

An away goal for Liverpool will seal the deal for Jurgen Klopp's men and if there are doubts over the fitness of Mohamed Salah, Mane could be the man to fire the decisive bullet.

Verdict: Liverpool to get the away goal they need to seal a semi-final spot.

ROMA (1) BARCELONA (4) eirSport 2 (7.45pm)

Barcelona's serene progress to the Spanish title and Champions League semi-finals has received relatively moderate fanfare this season and there is a lingering suspicion that they are not the force they once were.

Lionel Messi's brilliance has carried Barca through several tight matches this season and while they will see off Roma after a comprehensive first leg win at the Nou Camp, the three teams they could face in the semi-finals will fancy their chances of ruffling Catalan feathers.

Remarkably, Barca have not been the beneficiary of five own goals in this season's Champions League – a record for the competition – with the incessant pressure on defenders to keep their attacking stars quiet contributing to that statistic.

One to watch: Luis Suarez (Barcelona)

His last 11 Champions League goals have all come at the Nou Camp and he will want to end that record on Tuesday night.

Verdict: A stroll in the Italian capital for Barca.

WEDNESDAY

REAL MADRID (3) JUVENTUS (0) RTE 2 (7.45pm)

Cristaino Ronaldo was afforded one of the greatest honours in sport as the opposition support rose as one to acclaim his genius following a wonder-goal in the first leg of this tie in Turin last Tuesday.

While Ronaldo's overhead kick was worthy of the ovation it received, Juventus fans showed their class by appreciating they had witnessed a moment of sporting brilliance of the highest order.

The memorable goal ensured this Champions League quarter-final is all but over ahead of the second leg at the Bernabeu, but that will not dilute Ronaldo’s quest to add to his remarkable haul of 119 goals in the competition.

One to watch: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

Forget the comparisons with Messi and just be grateful that we are witnessing these two remarkable footballers taking the game to previously unchartered heights.

BAYERN MUNICH (2) SEVILLA (1) eirSport 1 (7.45pm)

Bayern's are dark horses to emerge as this season's Champions League winners, with their complete dominance of Germany's top flight allowing Jupp Heynckes to focus his attentions on winning the trophy he lifted with the Bavarian giants in 2013 all over again.

Heynckes, 72, has vowed to stand down as Bayern boss and head into retirement at the end of this season, yet his desire to be crowned as a European champion all over again will not be diluted by his imminent exit.

Bayern's class of 2018 have yet to be fully tested in this season's Champions League, but they have class in abundance and must be a threat to lift the trophy in Kiev in May.

One to watch: Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)

At the age of 34, this evergreen Frenchman has been showing some real class in recent weeks and he will be a key may for Bayern in the final weeks of this season.

Verdict: Bayern march on.

Online Editors

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