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Bayern Munich vs Liverpool: Three key battles ahead of their Champions League second leg clash

delicately poised

It’s all to play for at the Allianz Arena with nothing to separate the sides going into the second leg

Liverpool’s Champions League second leg clash against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena is well and truly in the balance – and you can hear it live on talkSPORT.

The Bavarian outfit would have been elated to have avoided defeat at Anfield, while the Reds will be equally happy not to have conceded an away goal.

Liverpool were effectively stifled by Bayern in the first leg.

Liverpool were effectively stifled by Bayern in the first leg.

It means the second leg is deliciously poised and couldn’t be harder to call.

It is a mouthwatering tie for the neutral, but what are the key clashes that could decide the outcome?

talkSPORT.com has identified the key battles that could decide the match…

Robert Lewandowski vs Virgil Van Dijk

The battle between Van Dijk and Lewandowski is arguably the pick of the clashes from the tie.

Lewandowski is still one of the most lethal No.9’s in world football – he has scored 25 goals in all competitions this season and has shown no sign of slowing down with a brace in each of his last two league games.

However, he has to contend with one of the best defenders in Europe in Van Dijk.

The Dutchman is the frontrunner for the Premier League Player of the Year and has helped Liverpool to the most clean sheets this season (17).

Whoever wins this duel, wins the tie.

Lewandowski is still one of the finest strikers in Europe

Lewandowski is still one of the finest strikers in Europe

Rafinha vs Sadio Mane

Liverpool will be very happy that Joshua Kimmich picked up a booking in the first leg and is suspended as he has emerged as one of the best full-backs in Europe in recent seasons.

Rafinha will fill in for the German and he has a sizeable task ahead to deal with Liverpool’s most in-form attacker Mane.

Mane has been on superb form recently

Mane has been on superb form recently

Mane has been on superb form of late and has stepped up just at the right time with Mohamed Salah struggling for form. He is now the third top scorer in the Premier League with 16 goals and will need to carry the same threat in this match.

Rafinha, however, is still a very accomplished full-back and is known for his ball-playing qualities.

It will be intriguing to find out who comes out on top in this duel.

LIVE on talkSPORT

There are 10 live commentaries across the talkSPORT network this week. Find out what they are and when you can hear them, below…

  • Bayern Munich vs Liverpool (Wednesday) – talkSPORT
  • Nottingham Forest vs Aston Villa (Wednesday) – talkSPORT 2
  • Dynamo Kyiv vs Chelsea (Thursday) – talkSPORT 2
  • Watford vs Crystal Palace (Saturday) – talkSPORT
  • Leeds vs Sheffield United (Saturday) – talkSPORT 2
  • West Ham vs Huddersfield (Saturday) – talkSPORT 2
  • Swansea vs Manchester City (Saturday) – talkSPORT
  • Wolves vs Manchester United (Saturday) – talkSPORT
  • Millwall vs Brighton (Sunday) – talkSPORT 2
  • Fulham vs Liverpool (Sunday) – talkSPORT

Serge Gnabry vs Andrew Robertson

Gnabry is Bayern Munich’s second top scorer this season after Lewandowski and it’s safe to say he gave Robertson some grief in the first leg.

In the absense of Kimmich and Thomas Muller due to suspension, the German champions will be very reliant on their wide-men Gnabry and Kingsley Coman to make something happen.

However, Bayern will know that all Liverpool need is an away goal to swing the tie in their favour.

Jurgen Klopp’s side will likely play on the counter and Gnabry will need to be well aware of Robertson’s attacking prowess.

The former Gunners ace will have to put in a huge defensive effort to track back and cover the Scot when Liverpool break.

Robertson will have to keep Gnabry at bay

Robertson will have to keep Gnabry at bay

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