'We've shown that we're a match for any team in Europe'
Liverpool's formidable recent record at home and abroad gives Robbie Fowler 'quiet confidence' ahead of the Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.
Bayern visit Anfield on Tuesday for the first of two last-16 legs that will determine whether they or the Reds progress to the quarter-finals.
And, while acknowledging the considerable threat posed by the German champions, Liverpool legend Fowler believes Jürgen Klopp’s team have what it takes to emerge victorious.
“When it comes to Liverpool, I’m always quietly confident,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“We are a great team, we’ve got great players and I’m not sitting here saying teams should be worrying about us because I think you’ve got to give them respect, but we’ll get the respect we deserve off them.
“You look and you analyse where they are this season, and I don’t mean this in a disrespectful way, but they’re probably not the Bayern of old in terms of getting unbelievably great results in their league. But there’s no denying that they’re still a great team, they’re still great players.
“As much as it’s an incredibly, incredibly tough game, I think the way we’re playing, we’re a match for anyone in football. We’ve proven that this year.
CL, 2018-19 CL, 2018-19
“The group was maybe a little bit tough, there were some good teams in it and we got out of it. We’re here now and I don’t think it matters really who you play in the second round or the final 16, you’re always going to be playing good teams anyway.
“It so happens that we’re playing Bayern Munich, who have been the top team in Germany for years and years and obviously we’re looking forward to it as a Liverpool team and Liverpool fans.
“And I’m sure there will be players for Bayern who are looking forward to playing us and coming to Anfield to play in an unbelievable stadium.”
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Of course, Liverpool made it all the way to last season’s Champions League final - and Fowler sees a continued presence in the latter stages of the competition as evidence of the ongoing development taking place under Klopp.
“I don’t think anyone envisaged that we’d do as well as we did last year and the more the competition went, I think the more we grew and hopefully that’ll be the case again,” the former striker said.
“I think we’ve proven to a lot of teams and a lot of people in European football that we can hold our own with the best teams in Europe, and obviously we’ve got aspirations to get to where we think we should be again.
“To be playing teams like Bayern, teams like Real Madrid in finals, that tells you the progress that we’ve made as a club over the last couple of years.
“I think it’s first class and we more than deserve to be where we are because of the way we’re playing.”