Football

Could This Injury Tip Bayern Munich Contest In Favour Of Liverpool?

Could This Injury Tip Bayern Munich Contest In Favour Of Liverpool?

Whilst the attention of most Liverpool fans will be firmly focused on beating Manchester United at Old Trafford this afternoon, it won't have gone unnoticed by Jurgen Klopp and co. of a potentially significant boost to their Champions League aspirations this weekend.

Nothing could separate themselves and visitors Bayern Munich to Anfield in Tuesday night's first-leg stalemate at Anfield. In truth, it was a disappointingly tense affair that did not really do justice to the quality that was on the field.

Holding Liverpool's attacking triumvirate scoreless most certainly resulted in step one of Mission Quarter Finals being accomplished for Bayern coach Nico Kovac who would have left Merseyside confident that his side stood a fair chance of trumping the Premier League leaders back in Germany.

But should Liverpool nick a goal at the Allianz Arena, the onus will be on the Bavarians to score two, and Kovac may well have cause for concern after mercurial attacking talent Kingsley Coman lasted all of nine minutes in yesterday's 1-0 defeat of Hertha Berlin.

The tricky French winger spent the early part of the season nursing an ankle ligament injury and had been a doubt for the first-leg tie in England having picked up a knock, as well as a brace of goals it must be said, as Bayern came from behind twice to beat Augsburg on February 15th.

Fit to start on Tuesday night, Coman lasted 80 minutes before being replaced by Franck Ribery.

Ribery made his return to the starting line-up for the match against the Berliners, but with Bayern pushing to unlock the Hertha defence, Coman was introduced just before the hour.

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Four minutes later and Javi Martinez scored. The gamble with Coman's fitness seemed to have paid dividends. But it wasn't long before the sullen 22-year-old was sat on the sod clutching his left hamstring, with teammates attempting to comfort the obviously distressed former PSG and Juventus starlet.

The club has since confirmed a tear, and Coman now faces a race to be fit for the deciding leg on March 13th.

Bayern's win proved a significant one, moving them level on points with Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund on a day when third-placed Borussia Monchengladbach's title aspirations all but ended after a second consecutive 3-0 defeat at home. Wolfsburg putting the pin in their hopes.

Liverpool face United this afternoon in what is being billed as the biggest fixture between the two fierce rivals in decades, with the Scousers chasing that first Premier League title that has so far eluded them.

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Aaron Strain

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