Canny Bayern to frustrate Klopp

Two of Europe’s most successful teams – Liverpool and Bayern Munich – meet at Anfield on Tuesday, in what looks set to be an evenly-matched Champions League last-16 first-leg encounter.

The statistics show that there is very little between the two sides. Both Bayern and Liverpool have won European club football’s premier competition on five occasions, with the Premier League outfit’s last success coming in 2005.

Bayern’s most recent triumph came in 2013, when they beat Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at Wembley.

Little to choose between European giants

Bayern, 15.00 to win the Champions League this season, are currently second behind Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, while Liverpool are trailing Manchester City in England, albeit with a game in hand.

These two sides have rarely faced each other, although the Reds did beat Bayern in the semi-finals of the 1980/81 European Cup, nine years after the German side had knocked them out of the Cup Winners’ Cup.

Klopp’s team have won their last five home Champions League games, but only edged into the last 16 by beating Napoli 1-0 in their final group match. They are 8.50 to beat Bayern by the same scoreline.

Bayern in transition

Bayern were unbeaten as they topped a group that also contained Ajax, Benfica and AEK Athens, but there is a sense that this is a season of rebuilding for the Bavarian giants as they prepare for life without Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

They have won the last six Bundesliga titles and lost in the Champions League semi-finals in four of the last five years, including last season’s defeat by Real Madrid.

Liverpool will be without Virgil van Dijk, who is suspended after his yellow card against Napoli in December, while Joe Gomez is recovering from surgery on a fractured leg and Dejan Lovren is a doubt.

Draw seems the likely outcome

Bayern captain Manuel Neuer is expected to be fit after struggling recently with a thumb injury, while Thomas Muller is suspended after being sent off in the final group game against Ajax.

Injured duo Corentin Tolisso and Robben look set to miss game, the latter with a thigh injury, but Robert Lewandowski is available and has once again impressed in the Champions League this season and already has eight goals to his name.

A draw at 3.65 appears to be a worthwhile bet.

Lyon are a tough nut to crack

Marseille’s controversial victory in 1993 remains the only time a French club has lifted the European Cup and Lyon are not expected to end that long run this season, particularly as they have to face Barcelona in the last 16.

However, Les Gones will be tricky opposition as they are currently third in Ligue 1 and inflicted a 2-1 defeat on runaway leaders Paris St-Germain earlier this month.

Bruno Genesio’s team also took four points from Manchester City in the group stage of this season’s Champions League, although their 2-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium in September proved to be their only three-point haul, as they drew their other five matches.

Goals should flow in France

Goals have certainly not been scarce in Lyon’s European games this season and odds on there being over 4.5 in Tuesday’s match are available at 4.00.

Barcelona will certainly not be taking victory for granted, although they will be pleased that Nabil Fekir – who has scored eight goals this season – including three in the Champions League, is suspended for Tuesday’s match.

However, Moussa Dembele, Bertrand Traore and Memphis Depay, 8.50 to score the first goal, have all been prolific and are capable of causing problems to the Barca defence on their day.

Lyon, who have reached this stage of the Champions League for the first time since 2011/12, have failed to beat Barcelona in six previous meetings.

Consistent Barca should prosper

The current La Liga leaders are in the last 16 for the 15th campaign in a row and have reached at least the quarter-finals in the last 11 seasons.

However, they have been surprisingly poor on their travels in recent Champions League knockout games – drawing one and losing four of their last five encounters since winning 2-0 at Arsenal three years ago.

They did triumph at Tottenham and PSV Eindhoven in the group stage of this season’s competition though and also drew with Inter in Milan.

Barcelona have been European champions five times, most recently in 2015 when they beat Juventus 3-1 in the final. They can be backed at 6.00 to win the Champions League again this term.