Liverpool are firmly maintaining the pressure on Manchester City in the Premier League but now it’s time for the Reds to shift their focus to Europe.
Liverpool take on Benfica in the quarter-final of the Champions League, the first leg of which will be played at the Estadio da Luz this week.
The Anfield outfit are obviously the firm favourites to pick up a win on Tuesday but Benfica are a tricky customer so Jurgen Klopp will have to urge his players not to get complacent. Benfica have stumbled twice in their previous five outings but Liverpool have won four on the trot and they have a very good away record this season.
Jurgen Klopp will obviously be giving the EPL title race his utmost priority right now but there’s no denying that Liverpool have a great chance of getting to the finals of the Champions League as well. They are such a strong team that they could very well kill off the quarter-final tie in the 1st leg itself.
Liverpool team news vs Benfica:
Joel Matip picked up a head injury during the weekend and there was immediate doubt over his participation vs Benfica. His manager though has doused all the doubts by claiming that the defender is perfectly fine.
Klopp told the press: “Joel had a proper [knock], it looked like a golf ball [on his head] but it was nothing serious, it was just a bruise and had swollen up a little bit.
“He said he was completely fine, that’s why we had the strapping there.”
A new look for Joel Matip🤩😂🤕 pic.twitter.com/RYM002Itlz
— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) April 2, 2022
With Joel Matip fully fit, he will obviously start alongside Van Dijk in central defence. Alexander-Arnold came back from an injury to start on the bench against Watford but the right-back will definitely return to the starting XI in midweek.
Curtis Jones will likely miss out due an injury but even if he is fit, Fabinho will still come into the side. Naby Keita is still an injury doubt meaning Thiago and Henderson will hold onto their places in central midfield.
Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino played the full 90 minutes against Watford on Saturday but the pair will fall down the pecking order this week as Jurgen Klopp will call in Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane.
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) April 3, 2022
In recent matches, Sadio Mane has been playing through the middle with Diaz operating on the left flank and on Tuesday we could see the same arrangement.
Liverpool predicted line up vs Benfica:
Predicted Starting XI(4-3-3): Alisson; Van Dijk, Matip, TAA, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Sadio Mane, Mo Salah, Luis Diaz.