“Not the same side it was a few months ago” – Fabio Capello downplays Liverpool as favorites in Champions League clash with Inter Milan
Former England manager Fabio Capello believes Liverpool are not the same side they were a few months ago and are not sound defensively.
The Reds have won their last five games across all competitions, and their last three since the winter break. While they might not look in rhythm, they have managed to get the job done in front of goal and relied on Alisson Becker’s heroics in between the sticks.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were put to the test at Turf Moor by Burnley on Sunday, but they emerged narrow 1-0 winners on a cold and rainy afternoon. They will next take on Inter Milan in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 clash.
Capello believes that the Reds’ reliance in Alisson says a great deal about their defense in recent games. He told Sky Sports Italia:
“The current Liverpool is not the same side it was a few months ago. Klopp said it was his strongest team? Well, he would say that, what do you expect him to say?
“The Liverpool goalkeeper has recently been Man of the Match in every game. That says a great deal about how they are defending.”
Inter Milan will look to test Liverpool’s defence
Liverpool and Inter Milan have identical records in their respective leagues. While the Reds are the joint highest scoring team in the Premier League, Inter are by far the best scoring team in Serie A.
They have players like Lautaro Martinez and Edin Dzeko who are good with their movement. The likes of Hakan Calhanoglu and Nicolo Barela are smart passers, so they are a well-oiled attacking unit.
While Capello may be right in his assessment, he has perhaps ignored that Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are back from the AFCON and will look to make a statement.
The Reds’ attack is one of the best in the Champions League, so even if they are not the best team defensively, their attack can wear teams down.
They defend with a high line, so they have come under the cosh in recent games when the pressing hasn’t been perfect. Alisson has, hence, come into the picture more often than Jurgen Klopp would have liked.
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