Barcelona need to recover confidence if they are to end their unconvincing recent run, goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has suggested.

LaLiga's leaders were held to a goalless draw by Lyon in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday, failing to make the most of their dominance of possession and a succession of chances in France.

Barca have now drawn four of their past five matches in all competitions, scoring just twice in their most recent four games.

They face a daunting run of matches over the next 10 days, with a league trip to Sevilla on Saturday followed by back-to-back away games against Real Madrid.

Ter Stegen says they must use the meeting at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan to give themselves a boost as they look to sustain a treble challenge.

"The important thing is to recover. We have to be at 100 per cent and recover confidence against Sevilla," said the Germany international.

"We wanted a bit more [against Lyon]. We have to look ahead to the big games we have now and then we'll have the second leg against Lyon, a team with a lot of quality, although that's something we also have in attack.

"We know what we have to do, and we have a second leg to get it. Our goal is to reach the next round."

The Champions League last 16 first legs conclude on Wednesday, with Atletico Madrid hosting Juventus and Manchester City travelling to Schalke.

Juve will be looking to Cristiano Ronaldo to find his European scoring boots as they bid to end Atletico Madrid's run of 12 Champions League knockout games at home without defeat.

Manchester City, meanwhile, are overwhelming favourites to see off Schalke and progress to the quarter-finals, but they will have to overcome a stubborn backline, which conceded just four goals in the group stages.

Here is the pick of the stats surrounding these two games, as provided by Opta...

Atletico Madrid v Juventus

1 - Cristiano Ronaldo has scored only one goal in his last eight Champions League games. He had found the net 11 times in his eight previous games.

6 - Antoine Griezmann has scored or assisted a goal in each of his six Champions League games at the Wanda Metropolitano (six goals, three assists). This season, he has been directly involved in six of Atletico Madrid's nine Champions League goals (67 per cent), with four goals and two assists – that is the highest ratio among the 16 teams left in the competition.

9 - Massimiliano Allegri has reached the knockout stages in each of his nine campaigns as manager in the Champions League. He was a beaten finalist in two of the last four seasons with Juventus.

6 - Atletico Madrid are unbeaten in the Champions League against Italian opposition under manager Diego Simeone (won four, drawn two). In those six games, they have only conceded one goal, by Kaka in a 4-1 win against AC Milan in March 2014.

6 - Paulo Dybala has scored six goals in his last seven Champions League appearances – more than in his previous 24 appearances in the competition with Juventus (five goals). All 11 of his goals in the competition have come with his left foot.

Schalke v Manchester City

9 - Schalke are unbeaten in their last nine European home games (won six, drawn three) – they last went longer without a home defeat between July 2003 and November 2004 (11 games).

4 - No player delivered more assists than Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez in the Champions League group stages this season (four, level with Kylian Mbappe and Memphis Depay).

6 - Schalke scored six goals in this season's group stages, the lowest tally amongst the 16 clubs left in the competition. However, only Borussia Dortmund (five) kept more clean sheets than Schalke (four).

2 - Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has won the Champions League on two occasions as a manager (2009 and 2011, both with Barcelona); a third trophy would equal Zinedine Zidane, Carlo Ancelotti and Bob Paisley's record. He has also reached the semi-finals in seven of his nine previous seasons as manager but has not made the final since 2011.

3 - Schalke have been knocked out in the round of 16 in each of their last three Champions League appearances – 2010/11 was the last time they made it past that stage, reaching the semi-finals.

Ernesto Valverde insists he is not worried about Luis Suarez's goal drought after he once again struggled in Barcelona's 0-0 Champions League draw at Lyon.

Uruguay international Suarez was excellent in the first half of the season, but he has been rather less effective in front of goal since then, and that is reflected in Barca's form, having now drawn four of their last five games in all competitions.

Suarez was lively in France against Lyon in the opening leg of their last-16 clash, sniffing out a few opportunities, but his finishing left a lot to be desired and he looked visibly frustrated on numerous occasions on Tuesday.

It was the fifth game in a row Suarez has not scored in, while he passed 24 hours of playing time in the Champions League without an away goal in the 22nd minute.

Barca head coach Valverde is not concerned, however.

"I would worry if he did not generate scoring chances, which is what is asked of a striker," Valverde told reporters.

"He always has chances and if not, he generates them and is a headache for the rival. And, in any case, he is linked well with the occasions we've created.

"Football is a matter of success. If the opposition wastes occasions I get nervous; if we waste them, it only bothers me."

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde accepts the 0-0 draw they secured away to Lyon in the Champions League on Tuesday is a "dangerous" result.

Valverde's side generally controlled proceedings in France, but they were wasteful in front of goal and Lionel Messi was unable to create much of note.

It leaves the tie nicely poised for the second leg at Camp Nou on March 13 and Barca will be seen as favourites, but Valverde is well aware that Tuesday's result provides Lyon with encouragement.

"I do not think it is very easy to win away from home in the Champions League," Valverde told Movistar. "We have absolutely dominated and they have not lost any match in this competition so far this season.

"Lyon had chances in the beginning but we came back well and we controlled the game until the end.

"We have created a lot of chances, but football is a matter of success and today we have not had it. The tie is in the air, 0-0 is a dangerous result, we will not kid ourselves."

Lyon defender Leo Dubois believes the draw gives his side every chance to progress to the quarter-finals and feels they did well despite Messi occupying more than one defender at a time.

"They have a player [Messi] who keeps a full defensive line busy," he said. "We tried to push them out from the middle, as they are less of a threat from the wings.

"The scoreline is fine for us. We still have a chance to progress even if we know it will be tough. We believe in ourselves.

"We weren't necessarily in control at times. We may also have mismanaged some counter situations. Everyone did their part and made the effort. We have everything to play for in three weeks. It's up to us to play a big match."

Robert Lewandowski drew a rare blank as he failed to exploit Virgil van Dijk being suspended, but Bayern Munich arguably have the edge over Liverpool after a goalless first leg at Anfield.

Van Dijk's absence was billed as a crucial factor in Tuesday's clash of the titans - a last-16 tie that felt deserving of semi-final status if not the showpiece itself - with two high-powered sides who wanted to play the game at full speed without ever pausing to catch breath.

Liverpool mostly held Bayern at bay despite being without the most expensive defender in world football. Lewandowski - the top scorer in this season's Champions League with eight goals - lurked as a malevolent presence close to Van Dijk's deputy Fabinho whenever Bayern had the ball, but they could not create a chance for him to take.

Indeed, the Bundesliga champions did not muster a single shot on target, although the hosts could only manage two themselves. Lewandowski touched the ball just twice in Liverpool's box during the first half and when he did get on the ball near Alisson's goal shortly after the restart, Fabinho snuffed out his threat.

Alisson promised pre-match Liverpool would not "feel that loss" with Van Dijk unable to play due to his ban, claiming Liverpool were drilled so well it would make little difference despite his price and profile, and he was proved right with Lewandowski stifled.

Van Dijk has not missed a single minute of Liverpool's brilliant Premier League season, but suggestions he has been the sole factor in the Reds' rise looked out of place following this fine team display. Fabinho and Joel Matip may be a makeshift pairing, but they were not outclassed. Mats Hummels was similarly outstanding at the back for Bayern.

The key individual battle of the game instead developed on Liverpool's left wing where Sadio Mane gave the excellent Joshua Kimmich a working over, the likes of which he does not usually get in domestic football.

Mane tricked Kimmich into receiving a first-half booking, which will rule the Germany international out of the second leg, but he could not find the target with a brace of overhead-kick attempts before the break. Liverpool may feel Mane could have targeted Kimmich more in the second period as his yellow seemed a rare soft spot in the Bayern side.

With both sides determined to close down the other at every possible opportunity, Manuel Neuer and Alisson had moments where they looked briefly uncomfortable.

The prospect of Roberto Firmino bearing down on goal, seemingly at a million miles an hour, was not welcomed by Bayern's captain. It was hard to believe Firmino had been a doubt due to an illness that forced him to miss training. His energy levels appeared to be as high as ever until he dramatically faded in the second half and had to be replaced by wildcard option Divock Origi.

Mistakes in possession were too common from both sides, the rapid tempo of the match meaning players were regularly harried and harassed into misplacing passes.

And that lack of clarity continued in front of goal where the prolific Mohamed Salah wasted the clearest openings of the game for Liverpool. They may just rue his misses in Munich.

Diego Simeone had little desire to discuss old foe Cristiano Ronaldo as Atletico Madrid prepare to host Juventus in a mouthwatering Champions League last-16 clash.

Ronaldo completed a shock €112million switch to Juve in July, having won four Champions League titles with Real Madrid and become the LaLiga giants' all-time top scorer.

The five-time Ballon d'Or recipient netted 22 times in Madrid derbies but, speaking at a pre-match news conference, Atletico head coach Simeone was more inclined to focus on his own enviable batch of talent.

"He made a decision to change and has picked a big challenge in going to Juventus," Simeone said.

"But we're thinking instead about [Antoine] Griezmann, [Alvaro] Morata, [Diego] Costa, Koke, Saul [Niguez]...

"They are excited and very keen to play a good game.

"I feel excited about being in the Champions League, which is such a nice competition, against an opponent as powerful as this.

"After not making it this far last year, we want to grow as a club and a team."

Atleti made the most of dropping down to the Europa League after last season's group stages, going on to win Europe's secondary club competition.

They were beaten in the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finals by Madrid, in extra time and on penalties respectively.

Juventus have also endured similar near misses in the modern era, coming up short in the 2015 and 2017 showpieces.

"This is the last 16 and there's no trophy at this stage," Simeone said.

"We face a powerful and strong opponent and a coach who has been at his club for many years, the same as is the case here.

"They have players of great quality and status. We have tools as well to take the game where we want to.

"Both these teams have a 50 percent chance. Neither side has a greater advantage than the other."

Diego Costa is not ready to play 90 minutes, according to Simeone, having recently returned from foot surgery, while Koke (thigh) will be assessed.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri is well aware having Cristiano Ronaldo gives his team an advantage in the Champions League, but he warned they are not obliged to win it simply because the Portugal great plays for them.

Ronaldo made the shock switch from Real Madrid to Juve in July having won the Champions League three times in a row.

The 34-year-old has shown no sign of letting up since departing LaLiga either, scoring 19 times in 24 Serie A matches, swiftly adapting to the rigours of Italian football.

For many, the signing of Ronaldo instantly made Juve favourites for the 2018-19 Champions League, particularly given they made it as far as the final in two of the past four seasons.

Allegri recognised Ronaldo's presence does give Juve a helping hand, but he also had a word of caution for the squad as they prepare to face Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano in the first leg of their last-16 clash on Wednesday.

"It is not a question of obligation," Allegri told reporters in his pre-match news conference. "The Champions League is a goal.

"You need to play well and be lucky. Having Ronaldo is definitely an advantage, but it is the team that has to play important games.

"Ronaldo is the best in the world, and you have more chances to win it with him, but you do not win automatically."

Allegri is also mindful of the threat posed by Atletico, who themselves have reached two Champions League finals in five years, while he spoke highly of the job Diego Simeone has done at the club.

"The Champions League has always been a goal for Juventus, and it will be an important match [on Wednesday], as all the knockout stages played in the last few years have been," Allegri added.

"We have had high-level Champions League campaigns, but Atletico is an organised team and make their defensive platform their strength.

"I congratulate Simeone - he did, and is doing, an extraordinary job."

Jurgen Klopp feels pundits who were critical of Bayern Munich early in Niko Kovac's reign are now at risk of looking "silly" as the Bundesliga champions recover under their new coach.

Bayern won their first seven games under Kovac before stumbling into a run of four matches without a victory, but they travel to Anfield on Tuesday for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie in fine form.

Friday's 3-2 win at Augsburg means Kovac's side have taken 27 points from the last 30 available in the Bundesliga, with their deficit behind league leaders Borussia Dortmund cut to three points.

And Klopp is more aware of Bayern's threat than most, with the German having battled for titles with the Bavarian giants when he coached Dortmund between 2008 and 2015.

"I cannot hide from the fact that Bayern Munich are a team I know more about than most of the opposition we face in international competition," Klopp wrote in Liverpool's matchday programme.

"They were of course a regular opponent both in domestic competitions and the Champions League when I worked in Germany, and with it still being my home country I pay more attention to what happens in the Bundesliga than others, outside of the Premier League itself.

"Because of this knowledge, aside from the usual analysis we do, I know how unbelievably powerful they are, as a team and as a club. Bayern know what it takes to win – it's what they do.

"This season people were far too quick, in my opinion, to draw conclusions on them early and some of those who fell into that trap now risk looking a little silly.

"They've had some transition to manage, but it is clear they are now in the right mood and we must be ready for a side full of confidence and attacking intent.

"When the Champions League starts each season Bayern Munich are a team people with knowledge predict will have a big say in the outcome of who wins it – this season it is no different. We face a side who will have ambitions to go all the way. But guess what – we are also a side that refuses to limit its ambitions."

Liverpool will be without defensive leader Virgil van Dijk due to suspension for Bayern's visit, while Joe Gomez is out and Dejan Lovren is battling to recover from a hamstring injury.

"It is entirely possible to respect that this is a blockbuster fixture without needing analysis of who has the better chance of progressing," Klopp continued. "We prepare for this game like every other one. We look at and respect our opponents' strengths and learn about them before playing.

"But when we pass on that information it is about how we can use it to maximise our own qualities, of which there are many. We make it about what we can do – we make it about us always.

"We were away most of last week in training camp and what I saw there was a squad of players only interested in ourselves and what we can do together. I saw players who are loving being involved in something that matters and has the potential to be significant.

"The team we focus on more than any other is always us and what we can do and achieve with hard work and focus."

The Champions League last 16 continues on Tuesday, with Liverpool hosting Bayern Munich and Barcelona travelling to Lyon.

Bayern have a fairly rotten record against the Reds, but they may stand a good chance of a positive first-leg result if Robert Lewandowski and Sadio Mane continue their recent trends in the competition.

Lyon shocked Manchester City in the group stage before a peculiar run of five consecutive draws, but they will hope to stop Lionel Messi from continuing a quite remarkable scoring rate.

Here is the pick of the stats surrounding these two first legs, as provided by Opta...

Liverpool v Bayern Munich

1 - Bayern Munich have won only one of their seven matches in European competition against Liverpool (D4 L2). That came in the Cup Winners' Cup second round back in November 1971, with two goals from Gerd Muller and one from Uli Hoeness in Munich.

0 - Bayern Munich have not scored a single goal against Liverpool at Anfield (3 games).

19 - Liverpool are unbeaten in 19 consecutive European matches at Anfield (W14 D5), last losing at home back in October 2014 against Real Madrid in the Champions League (0-3). It is their second-longest unbeaten streak at home in European competition after their 40-match run between September 1974 and December 1991.

6 - Sadio Mane failed to convert more big chances than any other player in this season's Champions League group stages (6 out of 7 obtained). However, last season he scored seven goals in as many knockout games in the competition.

5 - Top scorer in the Champions League this season with eight goals, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski will attempt to find the net in a fifth consecutive game, a feat he has never accomplished so far in a same season in the competition.

Lyon v Barcelona

6 - Barcelona are unbeaten against Lyon, winning four of their six previous matches with the French club, all in the Champions League. The Catalans have also scored in all six of those games.

44 - Lyon have averaged 44 per cent possession in this season's Champions League, the lowest ratio among the 16 teams left in the competition, whilst only Real Madrid have had more possession (65 per cent) than Barcelona (64 per cent).

4 - Lyon's Memphis Depay has assisted four goals in the Champions League this season, the joint-most alongside Kylian Mbappe and Riyad Mahrez. The last Lyon player to assist four or more goals in the competition was Juninho Pernambucano in 2008-09 (4).

90 - Since (and including) the 2009 Champions League final, Barcelona's Lionel Messi has scored 90 goals in 90 starts in the competition.

1,418 - Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has failed to score (or deliver an assist) in his last 1,418 minutes of play away from home in the Champions League - 23 hours and 38 minutes without finding the net or setting up a goal. The last time he scored on the road came in September 2015 against Roma at Stadio Olimpico.

Jurgen Klopp confirmed Liverpool were interested in signing Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho when he was at Manchester City, but the Premier League champions would not sell to the Reds.

Sancho left City for the Bundesliga in August 2017 and has been a revelation in Germany, scoring seven goals and setting up another nine in 22 league matches this season.

The 18-year-old earned his first senior England caps towards the end of last year and already looks as though he is set to become a mainstay, such is the talent he has shown early in his career.

Sancho arguably would not be in such a position had he stayed at City, however, as he decided to leave in search of greater exposure to first-team football.

Had things gone differently, he could have even ended up at Anfield.

"Buying English players is a smart idea because we would never have a chance to get Sancho," Klopp told reporters on Monday ahead of Liverpool's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.

"We are not blind. We saw him [Sancho], we liked him and then we think, 'Can we get him?'

"No, because English clubs don't sell to other English clubs. I don't know exactly what the reason is for that, but they don't do it."

Eager to not miss out on another English talent after seeing Sancho go to Dortmund, Bayern have made no secret of their desire to sign Callum Hudson-Odoi of Chelsea.

Some have suggested Bundesliga clubs' interest in young English players is a consequence of a perceived lack of talented German youth players, though Klopp is unconvinced.

"There is no dip," he said. "Six or seven years ago you had all these boys coming up – Marco Reus, Andre Schurrle, Mario Gotze, Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels – and it was clear when they became Under-21 European champions it would be a generation of proper quality.

"England now has that situation. It is like a wave with one country a little bit up and another country down. Now they can go to Germany, which is a wonderful league.

"I saw the Dortmund game against Tottenham and it was a completely open game in the first half. I don't see German football in a bad situation.

"It is a normal situation as well, a bit like Bayern. They have been unbelievably successful and now the next generation has to come up.

"That will happen again. The Bundesliga is a fantastic league and everything will be fine for them, but at the moment I am in the Premier League and more interested in what we have to do here."

Barcelona know they must not "let their guard down" after last season's Champions League exit to Roma, according to coach Ernesto Valverde. 

The LaLiga giants looked set for a semi-final berth after winning the first leg 4-1 at home but capitulated in the Italian capital, going out on away goals after a humiliating 3-0 defeat. 

Valverde's side return to knockout action on Tuesday with a visit to Lyon and the Barca boss is confident there will be no such complacency this time out. 

"The learning of Rome is that you should not let your guard down," he told a media conference. 

"In the first leg, you need to have a high guard - we will take this into account. 

"When we played Roma everyone said they were a weak opponent, which did not help us.

"We are eager to play because we've been waiting for the game for a while, and we're under pressure because we know the enthusiasm of our fans."

After three successive draws, including a 1-1 result at home against Real Madrid in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final, Barca returned to winning ways on Saturday with a slender 1-0 triumph over Real Valladolid.

Not all supporters are happy, though, with some taking issue with Valverde's tactics after the team managed just two goals in their last three outings.

The Barca boss, who recently signed a one-year extension to his contract, is unfazed, though, and insists his side plays attacking football.

"Everyone has their own opinion," he added.

"We are a team that clearly plays to attack. I do not have much more to say, we'll see on Tuesday."

Lyon's influential playmaker Nabil Fekir will miss the game through suspension and Valverde admits that is a boost to Barca's chances.

"I'm not going to deny that he is a player who can decide any game," he said.

"He is crucial to the offensive game of his team. It is an important loss and we will try to take advantage of it."

Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac confirmed Franck Ribery is a doubt for Tuesday's Champions League game away to Liverpool following the birth of his daughter.

The Reds host Bayern at Anfield as the two European giants begin their knockout phase campaigns, with Bayern hoping to take a positive result back to Munich for the second leg on March 13.

But Bayern, whose form has been erratic all season, find themselves in a spot of bother due to several players being doubts or missing.

Corentin Tolisso, Arjen Robben, Renato Sanches are all out injured and Thomas Muller is suspended, while Kingsley Coman is a doubt with an ankle problem that is being monitored closely and Jerome Boateng could miss the game with a stomach virus.

On top of those issues, they are also unsure if Ribery will be in a fit state to play after being up all through the night while his wife gave birth to their daughter, and Kovac says a decision on his availability will be made on Tuesday.


"As coach you have an idea [of your setup], then one becomes a father and the other gets sick, then you need another idea," Kovac told reporters.

"It's just that Ribery did not sleep at all, so we'll have to see. I'll talk to Franck to see how he feels, and I do not know what the answer will be when we decide tomorrow [Tuesday].

"With Jerome, we have to wait and see what the doctors in Munich say, and if not contagious, he could be an option."

Bayern's injury problems hardly come at a welcome moment, as Kovac accepts Liverpool were the worst possible draw at this stage for his team.

"I want to say once again, it's the most difficult draw [for Bayern]," he added. "If you look at what Liverpool did in Champions League last season and what they are doing in the Premier League this [season], you have to say it's the most difficult draw there is.

"The atmosphere will definitely be good, everyone knows about that, but I'm sure my players have gone through big games with great atmospheres in other stadiums, so we should be able to compete.

"In the Bundesliga we have played against two teams – Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen – who have a similar playing style and quality, but Liverpool have a higher level of pressing.


"If Liverpool give 140 per cent, we have to give 150 per cent. With 100 per cent, it will not be enough, but I'm convinced we'll give it everything.

"It's an absolutely high-end match. It's a perfect match-up game, it's going to be a challenge, but if we tackle it together, we'll make it [through to the next round]."

Antoine Griezmann admits the prospect of playing in this season's Champions League final at the Wanda Metropolitano has given Atletico Madrid's players extra motivation.

Atleti have reached at least the quarter-finals of the competition in four of the past five seasons and host Italian giants Juventus on Wednesday in the first leg of their mouth-watering last-16 tie.

Lack of motivation is unlikely to be an issue against the runaway Serie A leaders, but Griezmann believes the tantalising potential of a home final could give Diego Simeone's side a vital edge.  

"It gives us and the fans even more motivation," he told

"There's always a great atmosphere and that's what we need, that's what we want as players. A home final would be a celebration for everyone associated with Atletico.

"The path there will be very difficult, but we will try our best. We will do everything in our power to get there, and then we'll see."

Atleti have largely kept intact the side that won last season's Europa League and Griezmann believes that continuity – and experience of big occasions – will stand them in good stead as they enter the Champions League knockout stages.

"We have players that have already played in Champions League, Europa League and World Cup finals," he added.

"We're already gaining in confidence in important games and moments and I think it's at those times that we really raise our game and that helps us play better.

"We have new faces in the team, but I think that the fundamental base remains the same and that is what will help us to go far."

Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic is excited about the prospect of seeing his side play against Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday, but insists they are not daunted by the famous atmosphere. 

The Reds host Bayern on Merseyside in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, as the two sides get their knockout campaigns started. 

Liverpool reached the final last season, with their form at home proving vital as they avoided defeat in every match in front of their own supporters. 

That run has continued into this season, Liverpool winning all three of their home group games, while their only Anfield defeat in any competition in 2018-19 was a 2-1 loss to Chelsea in the EFL Cup in September. 

Salihamidzic is aware of the revered atmosphere at the stadium and while eager to experience it, he is convinced Bayern know how to handle such environments. 

"We know what atmosphere to expect, what a beautiful stadium [Anfield] it is and how hard it is to play there, that's why we have to play with passion, but with a cool head," he told reporters.

"I think we have a really good mix between experienced players who can calm down a game and the boys who are on fire, that can really bring speed in a game.

"Of course, you have to keep a cool head, but also keep in mind that this will be a tense game.

"We have the experience, we have players who have played a lot of games at this level. Therefore, I assume that we are 100 per cent ready for it.

"Sadly, I never got to play there [Anfield] as a player, but I'm excited anyway to see the atmosphere.

"It will be intense, but it is like that also in the other stadiums, in Spain, in the other English stadiums or in the Bundesliga.

"It will be a duel of the highest level, I think, and I'm excited about that. To see Anfield is very special."

Jurgen Klopp believes Bayern Munich could be "more dangerous than before" against Liverpool due to their inconsistent form in 2018-19.

The Reds host Niko Kovac's side on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

Liverpool have been tipped by many as the favourites to progress to the quarter-finals, with Bayern's dominance of German football appearing to be weakening during something of a transitional season.

They sit two points behind Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund, having played a game more, and twice fought back from a goal down to beat Augsburg 3-2 on Friday.

Klopp, though, thinks Bayern's improved results since a run of no wins in four games in September shows they will be a real threat at Anfield.

"After six years as the dominator of the league, it was clear this would be a more difficult year," he said. "They are two points behind Dortmund, they play Dortmund at home, they're in the cup [DFB-Pokal], in the Champions League last 16... It's a completely normal situation.

"With a huge quality team, you need to have the desire of a newcomer combined with the quality of a real contender. Maybe in the beginning of the season they didn't have that but the situation from my point of view makes them even more dangerous than before.

"We cannot have the same target as Bayern because they are six times in a row the champions, they want to make history with a seventh. Our history would be completely different. Maybe we achieved a little bit more than people expected so far but both are in a similar situation.

"It's a long way to go but we don't have to think about the league, just the Champions League. If I wasn't involved, I would buy a ticket."

Tuesday's game sees Klopp come up against Mats Hummels and Robert Lewandowski, who were key figures in his Dortmund side that won back-to-back league titles in 2011 and 2012.

"I worked together with these boys. Two fantastic players. I have to be really thankful - without them probably my career would not be the same," he said.

"We all benefited from each other. That's part of my life and part of my history. We'll always have a lot of respect for each other. 

"I know a lot about them. I really like them. We will try everything to, what can I say? To let them not shine."

Liverpool finished second to Paris Saint-Germain in their group, meaning they must play the home leg of the tie first, but Klopp does not consider that to be a disadvantage.

"When two good teams face each other, it is not decided in one game," he said. "We have two legs to play and we will be 100 per cent focused on both of them. It's difficult but it's possible and that's all I need."

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