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Sunday 22 July 2018

Pool just need to keep a cool head in Rome

Mohamed Salah. Photo: PA
Mohamed Salah. Photo: PA

My advice to Liverpool going into tomorrow night's Champions League semi-final second leg against Roma would go something like this - imagine the tie is level at 0-0 and just go out and try to win this game.

The two late goals Roma scored against Liverpool at Anfield last week gave them some hope for the second leg but Jurgen Klopp's men are still in a very strong position with a 5-2 lead.

Roma will be scared stiff of what is coming at them after they were torn apart by Liverpool's front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino last week and that fear factor will help them.

I fancy Liverpool to score in Rome, with the 29 goals they have blasted in the Champions League this season confirming them as having the most potent forward line in the competition.

Real Madrid are the second-highest scorers with 18 goals, so Liverpool will fancy their chances of grabbing an away goal and that will secure their passage to the final in Kiev.

The one thing they need to guard against is a sending off, as that could give Roma the chance they need. So discipline and focus need to be applied by all of Klopp's players.

We saw what happened at Manchester City at the start of this season, when Mane was sent off, and that should be a warning to Liverpool.

Klopp's side were a match for Man City until they went down to ten men at the Etihad Stadium and then all hell broke lose and the final scoreline was a 5-0 hammering.

Roma are not as good as Man City from an attacking perspective, but we saw some nerves from Liverpool when Pep Guardiola's side scored the first goal in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final, as they tried to overcome a three-goal deficit.

Just keep things tight in the first 20 minutes, don't give them any encouragement and at some point, they are going to have to take risks.

That is when Liverpool's attacking firepower can come into play and you would fancy an away goal or two at that point to kill off the tie.

I am not looking at the potential final against Real Madrid, as I'm one of those Liverpool fans who does not want to tempt fate.

Let's get this second leg in Rome out of the way, sidestep any more injuries and then we can start to talk about the prospect of a sixth European title for Liverpool in Kiev next month.

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