10 key things to know ahead of Liverpool vs. Inter Milan

Liverpool are 90 minutes away from their fourth Champions League quarter-final under Jurgen Klopp, with a 2-0 lead over Inter Milan offering a promising head start.

Liverpool vs. Inter Milan

Champions League Last-16 Second Leg | Anfield
Tuesday, March 8, 2022 | 8pm (GMT)

The Reds are currently enjoying a 12-game winning streak across all competitions, one of which includes the 2-0 win at the San Siro that sets them up nicely for the second leg.

With the away goal rule no longer in play, it adds a different dimension to Tuesday’s proceedings but Liverpool know the state of play.

Here are 10 key things to know ahead of kickoff.


1. Inter enjoy big hit out

MILAN, ITALY - Tuesday, February 15, 2022: Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' (L) is challenged by Inter Milan's Hakan C?alhanog?lu during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg game between FC Internazionale Milano and Liverpool FC at the Stadio San Siro. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Immediately following Liverpool’s win at the San Siro, Inter fell to another 2-0 defeat before two consecutive stalemates as their chance to create a buffer in Serie A was lost.

But four days prior to their first trip to Anfield since 2008, they blew off the cobwebs with a 5-0 win against the league’s cellar dwellers Salernitana.

Lautaro Martinez hit a hat-trick, with Edin Dzeko responsible for the other two to see them head to Merseyside with a head of steam for what is to be a stern task.

They’ll need to attack the Reds, and that should play into the hands of Klopp and co.


2. How could the visitors line up?

MILAN, ITALY - Tuesday, February 15, 2022: Inter Milan's Arturo Vidal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg game between FC Internazionale Milano and Liverpool FC at the Stadio San Siro. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Italians will remain without Nicolo Barella as he serves the second of his two-game European suspension, while Ivan Perisic is a doubt after missing their Friday night game.

Inter assistant manager Massimiliano Farris said that they “will use our best available XI” and that “there’s no lack of motivation” for their trip to Anfield.

And it could be that the side who ran out 5-0 winners last time out will again get the nod bar one, with Barella replaced by Arturo Vidal.

Possible Inter XI: Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Dumfries, Vidal, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Darmian; Dzeko, Martinez


3. Any Liverpool absences?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 19, 2022: Liverpool's substitute Thiago Alcantara warms-up during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Norwich City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds were without three senior figures on Saturday, with Roberto Firmino (adductor), Joel Matip (illness) and Thiago (hamstring) all missing out.

But Klopp provided a welcome update on the trio, with all participating in training on Sunday to put them in contention for the matchday squad.

The boss did suggest Firmino could need extra training to see him return to the intensity needed to compete, however.

Meanwhile, there was no sign of Ibrahima Konate in the Reds’ open training session on Monday evening.


4. The possible Reds XI

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 27, 2022: Liverpool's Joel Matip (R) and Virgil van Dijk during the Football League Cup Final match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. Liverpool won 11-10 on penalties after a goal-less draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The manager is spoilt for choice once more but much of his XI all but picks itself for this one, with all hands on deck needed to get the job done.

The return of Matip and Thiago offers pause for thought, but it could be one to turn to the Spaniard from the bench after a largely impressive showing from the midfield against West Ham.

And in the forward line, it could be a first for Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota, with the trio yet to start a game together since the No. 23 made the switch at the end of January.

Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Keita; Salah, Diaz, Jota


5. Klopp’s sub rule plea

Jurgen Klopp again took the time to make his plea for the five sub rule to be instated in the Premier League, not for any advantage, as some like to believe, but for the players themselves:

“We played now the final on Sunday, then Wednesday, then Saturday, now Tuesday. That’s actually a horrible schedule.

“Maybe I start out of the blue with it, but it’s essential that, at one point, we go again for the five subs in the Premier League.

“It is because we have three competitions where we have five subs and one we don’t have that.

“But even for the teams that don’t have three competitions [with it], only two, it makes so much difference.

“I don’t understand why it takes that long to understand it. Because the Premier League has to save their top-class players as well.


6. Conquering all of Europe

MILAN, ITALY - Wednesday, February 16, 2022: Liverpool players line-up for a team group photograph before the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg match between FC Internazionale Milano and Liverpool FC at the Stadio San Siro. Back row L-R: goalkeeper Alisson Becker, Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho’, Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konaté, Trent Alexander-Arnold. Front row L-R: Sadio Mané, Thiago Alcantara, Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson, Diogo Jota, Harvey Elliott. (Handout photo by UEFA)

It’s been a perfect European campaign so far for Liverpool, who have won seven games in a row in Europe for the first time since 2005/06.

And they could extend that run to eight on Tuesday for the first time since October 1984, matching Joe Fagan‘s side who managed a sequence of nine.

The Reds are the only team left in the competition with a 100 percent win record, time to keep it that way!


7. Fabinho is impressed!

The Brazilian was up for pre-match media duties and he offered an insightful look into Trent Alexander-Arnold, his panenka penalty and new teammate Luis Diaz:

“[Diaz is] really impressive. He has been here one month, and playing on a really high level. Was really important in the final against Chelsea, he was one of the best players.

“The final maybe only his third game, really impressive. He’s really good; it’s not always easy to play at a high level when you change country and league.

“He looks like he was playing here a long time.”


8. Did you know?

The Kop, Anfield, Istanbul banner, AC Milan, 2021 Champions League (Alamy Photo)

Since 1981/82, Liverpool have only failed to progress in European competition after taking the lead in the first leg only once.

That came in 2001/02 when Bayer Leverkusen overturned a 1-0 deficit at Anfield by putting a 4-2 scoreline beyond the Reds on their home turf to reach the Champions League semi-final.

In fact, the last two times — 1981/82 included — occurred when the first leg lead was taken at Anfield, this time it is not the case as Fortress Anfield awaits to close out the tie.


9. Who is the man in the middle?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, April 9, 2019: FC Porto's Felipe Augusto de Almeida Monteiro speaks with the referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Porto at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP) is the man with the whistle at Anfield, a face you will certainly recognise across European football.

Lahoz manned the Champions League final last season between Man City and Chelsea and was a prominent face at Euro 2020.

He has been in charge of four Liverpool games, the last being the win over Porto in 2019, with the Reds twice on the winning side with a draw and a loss apiece.

You may also more fondly remember Lahoz for being the one to send Pep Guardiola off at the Etihad when Liverpool emerged victorious on their way to Kyiv in 2018.


10. Here’s how to watch!

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 15, 2021: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson gives an interview after the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 1 game between Liverpool FC and AC Milan at Anfield. (Pic by UEFA)

The second instalment of Liverpool vs. Inter Milan is to be shown live on BT Sport 2 in the UK, with coverage starting at 7pm (GMT) ahead of the 8pm kickoff.

But if you’re looking for some unabashedly biased commentary then This Is Anfield’s matchday live blog is the place to be, with Henry Jackson at the helm from 7.15pm!