How AC Milan’s penalty-taking prowess could damage Liverpool’s Champions League chances.
Liverpool vs. AC Milan is a classic European heavyweight showdown. With six and seven continental titles, respectively, no other game in the 2021/22 Champions League Group Stage will feature two teams with such illustrious histories.
Given their remarkable record, it’s hard to imagine the Reds have only faced Milan twice in their history, both in finals.
However, while Liverpool has become a Champions League regular under Jurgen Klopp in recent years, the same cannot be said for its 2005 and 2007 final opponents.
Milan’s standing in the highest echelons of European football was guaranteed for years when they reached three finals in a five-year span in the early years of the twenty-first century.
Despite this, their visit to Anfield will be their first in the Champions League since the 2013/14 season, and they haven’t reached the last eight of any European competition in the previous two years. Liverpool has a substantial advantage in recent experience, having reached two finals and another quarter-final in the last four seasons.
Liverpool defense changes are being examined by Jurgen Klopp as a solution to the Naby Keita dilemma.
If any Kopites believe this provides their team a substantial advantage ahead of Wednesday’s encounter, they may want to reconsider.
When comparing the two clubs’ performances last season, there was little to choose between them. Although Stefano Pioli’s squad gained ten points more than the Reds, they only scored six more goals while surrendering one less.
And, if we look at the underlying figures to two decimal places, we can see that Liverpool and Milan will be difficult to distinguish in 2020/21.
Klopp’s team scored 1.91 anticipated goals per 90 minutes last season, barely 0.04 more than their Champions League opponents from Serie A, according to FBRef. To put it another way, it would take the Reds 25 games, or two-thirds of a season, to score a single predicted goal more than Milan.
However, it is worth noting that the Italian team won an astonishing 20 penalties in 2020/21, at least five more than the previous season. “The summary has come to an end.”