Champions League match build up: Liverpool vs AS Roma

Salah scored 34 goals in 83 appearances for the Italian club before joining Liverpool last summer in a £34m deal. Tuesday’s game (19:45 BST) will be the first time the Egyptian forward, 25, has faced his former colleagues.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp expects Mohamed Salah will not get “friendly” treatment from his former Roma team-mates during Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg at Anfield.

Mohamed Salah


“Mo will know pretty soon they are not his team-mates anymore,” said Klopp. “Italian defenders are famous for not having friendly games – but he can strike back in football terms.”

Salah has scored 41 goals in 46 appearances for Liverpool and on Sunday was named Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year. Five-time winners Liverpool are attempting to reach a Champions League final for the first time since 2007.

While Liverpool beat Premier League champions Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals, Roma overturned a 3-0 first-leg deficit to knock out Spanish giants Barcelona. “Nobody thought after the first result that they can have the kind of comeback against Barcelona because it’s not usually possible,” said Klopp.

“They can make seven or eight changes for their last league game and look comfortable and win which is a big advantage. But then being at Anfield is an advantage to us as well.

“They have a full squad available. They have different options offensively, a strong defence, the wingers or wing-backs are strong, it all looks settled, fit and experienced.

“It’s a semi-final which is a big thing for them like us. You will see two excited teams and that’s good for football.” Klopp rested Roberto Firmino, Andrew Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain for the 2-2 draw against West Brom on Saturday, and all are expected to return on Tuesday.

Roma, who are third in Serie A – 18 points behind leaders Juventus, also rested some of their key players at the weekend, with Aleksandar Kolarov, Alessandro Florenzi, Daniele de Rossi and Edin Dzeko sitting out the 3-0 win at Spal.

The quartet should return on Tuesday, and former Manchester City defender Kolarov says his side will not be focusing solely on Salah.

“Against Barcelona, we played as a team, we did not focus on Lionel Messi, and by playing in this way we can achieve great things,” he said. “It is not about stopping one player. Liverpool are not only Salah, they have a number of good players.”

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