Gary Neville believes Liverpool’s Champions League dream will be ended by Roma. Jurgen Klopp’s side will attempt to reach a Champions League final for the first time since 2007 after they beat Manchester City to reach the last-four. The first match takes place at Anfield on Tuesday night, with the return leg in Rome booked for next Wednesday.
Liverpool smashed Premier League champions City 5-1 in the quarter-finals but Roma also showed their class, overturning a 3-0 deficit to stun Barcelona. The Reds are the favourites to progress in the competition but Neville believes Roma, who are third in Serie A, will cause an upset. ‘I’m going for Liverpool to win their first leg 2-1, but I’ll add that I also think they’ll get knocked out over the two legs,’ the Manchester United legend told Sky Sports.
Roma are a very different proposition and capable of frustrating Jurgen Klopp’s attack.’ Tuesday’s fixture at Anfield will be the first time Mohamed Salah comes up against his former side since joining Liverpool last summer. The Egypt star, who spent two years at Roma and cost Klopp £34million, has already scored over 40 goals this season.
‘I think Mo will know pretty soon that they are not his team-mates any more,’ manager Klopp said. ‘Italian defenders are famous for not having friendly games. But he can strike back in football terms.’ Despite slipping 18 points adrift of Italian leaders Juventus, Roma will be buoyed by their stunning victory over Barcelona and are not focusing solely on Salah.
Aleksandar Kolarov, the former Manchester City defender, said: ‘Against Barcelona we played as a team, we did not focus on Lionel Messi, and by playing in this way we can achieve great things. ‘It is not about stopping one player. Liverpool are not only Salah, they have a number of good players.’