Liverpool should fear resurgent Bayern Munich, says Hamann

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The German ex-midfielder won the Champions League with the Anfield outfit but is backing another of his old sides to put them out of the competition

Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann is backing Bayern Munich to send the Reds crashing out of the Champions League when his two former teams meet on Wednesday.

The first leg of the last-16 clash ended 0-0 and the former Germany international says the resurgent Bundesliga giants hold the upper hand going into the second encounter.

Bayern hammered Wolfsburg 6-0 on Saturday to move top of the German league and, while Liverpool maintained their Premier League challenge with a 4-2 win over Burnley, it is the Allianz Arena side who are on song, according to Hamann.

Bayern struggled for results at the start of the season under manager Niko Kovac but have hit form at the right time.

"Liverpool are definitely running into Bayern at the wrong time with a new belief pulsing through the Bavarian ranks," Hamann, who won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, told the Liverpool Echo.

"It has been a tough first season for Munich boss Niko Kovac, 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.

"Their confidence will contrast with the mood at Liverpool and I’ll take Bayern in another tight, low-scoring encounter."

Germany manager Joachim Low unceremoniously dumped Bayern veterans Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Muller from his national team squad last week.

Mats Hummels, Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng, Bayern Munich

But Hamann, 45, insists that, despite their age, there is plenty left to come from the Bayern trio.

"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," he added.

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"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."