News Live Scores
Bayern München v Liverpool

'Liverpool running into Bayern at the wrong time' - Hamann predicts Champions League exit

11:59 PM GMT+8 08/03/2019
Fabinho Robert Lewandowski Liverpool Bayern Munich 2018-19
The ex-Reds midfielder believes his former employers at Anfield are the underdogs heading into a huge European clash in Germany next week

Liverpool are facing the very real prospect of an early exit from the Champions League at the hands of Bayern Munich, according to Dietmar Hamann.

Jurgen Klopp's men were held to a 0-0 draw at Anfield in the first leg on February 19, in a contest which failed to live up to its pre-match billing.

The Reds have suffered a dip in form over the last few weeks, securing just two wins from seven matches across all competitions.

Manchester City have overtaken them at the Premier League summit as a result and they have also been labelled as underdogs heading into their latest European clash on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Bayern have won five of their last six matches and reignited their Bundesliga title hopes, moving level on points with leaders Borussia Dortmund.

Hamann, who won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, feels Bayern are in pole position to qualify for the quarter-finals of this year's competition at the expense of another of his former clubs.

“They will feel they are in a decent position after the 0-0 draw at home and with Virgil van Dijk returning – but I still prefer Bayern," Hamann told the Racing Post. "The potential loss to injury of Kingsley Coman is a blow for the German side but they are in superb form, unrecognisable from the first couple of months of the season. Their confidence will contrast with the mood at Liverpool and I’ll take Bayern in another tight, low-scoring encounter.”

“Liverpool are definitely running into Bayern at the wrong time with a new belief pulsing through the Bavarian ranks."

Bayern have recovered from an early-season slump under Niko Kovac, re-emerging as a major force after many experts had written them off as a squad past their prime.

Hamann went on to insist that the Bavarians can still mix it among the best clubs in Europe over the next few years, despite key stars Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery seemingly set to move on at the end of the season.

"It has been a tough first season for Munich boss Niko Kovac," he added. "But he has kept his cool, even when fans were calling for his head in the autumn. Fast forward a few months and they are looking unbeatable and favourites to retain their title.

"They’ve done all this despite Bayern boasting one of the oldest squads in the Bundesliga but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of an era if they go out.’

"Players such as Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Muller seem to have been around forever and have been axed from the Germany squad by Joachim Low but none of them is more than 30 and they all have a couple of seasons left.”

"Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, David Alaba and Kingsley Coman are players you can build a team around, though Kovac will have to be clever in the transfer market.

"Bayern are still a European giant – Liverpool are all too aware of that – and they won’t be disappearing without trace any time soon.”

Before heading to Germany, Liverpool must first negotiate a home game against Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday.

Klopp's men cannot afford to lose any more ground on City, who are in front of them by a single point in the current standings.

Bayern are also in domestic action this weekend, with Wolfsburg due to arrive at the Allianz Arena on Saturday afternoon.