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‘It was the draw Bayern didn't want’- Hamann expects a tough test at Liverpool for Bayern

7:30 PM WAT 17/02/2019
Dietmar Hamman - Liverpool
The German is expecting a tight game on Tuesday and feels the Bundesliga champions cannot lose if they wish to progress to the next round

Former Liverpool and Bayern Munich midfielder Dietmar Hamann thinks Bayern will be nervous heading to Anfield this week.

The pair meet together in the Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday, with the reverse fixture to be staged three weeks later.

Hamann payed just short of 150 games for the reigning German champions between 1993-1998, before spending a seven-year stint on Merseyside.

The 45-year-old admitted he has slightly more affection for Liverpool than Bayern, and thinks the Bavarian outfit will be disappointed at having to play last year’s runners-up in such an early stage of the tournament

“It was the draw Bayern didn't want,” he German told the Liverpool Echo.

“Getting Liverpool was probably the hardest one out of the hat in terms of facing one of the second-placed teams.

“Liverpool have been going strong in the Premier League. They had a couple of average games after the turn of the year but they came back to form against Bournemouth

“On the other hand, you have a team in Bayern Munich who are very fragile at the moment. Even when they do control games they give away a lot of chances and goals.”

One optimistic point for the visitors is that Virgil van Dijk is missing for Liverpool, however, despite the defender’s absence, Hamann does not expect Bayern to approach the game in an over-offensive manner given the Reds attacking capabilities.

"With the defence they [Bayern] have got at the moment, I'm not sure they can play an expansive game against a side with Liverpool's quality and pace going forward.

“As good as Liverpool's forwards are, I still think Van Dijk is their most important player. He's a leader, he delegates, he speaks to players and he organises. He makes other players better and not having him out there is a huge blow.

“It's an opportunity for Bayern and they will get chances but I can see them defending pretty deep at Anfield

“With Van Dijk back, I'm not sure whether Bayern have the capability to put three or four past Liverpool in the second leg.”

“I think if Bayern want to have a chance in the second leg they need to score and they must not lose at Anfield,” he said.

“They should be aiming for a result that means they don't have to win at home. If they have to force the game against Liverpool with Van Dijk back and that front three playing on the counter-attack, we know the damage they can do

“Bayern aren't in great form but they are a hugely experienced side. They have some of the most decorated players in the history of German football with Champions League winners and World Cup winners. Bayern's hope is that they raise their game for the big occasion.”