Jurgen Klopp Expects Mohamed Salah to 'Strike Back in a Football Way' vs. Roma

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IApril 23, 2018

Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England, on April 21, 2018. (Photo by Lindsey PARNABY / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)
LINDSEY PARNABY/Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp expects Mohamed Salah to "strike back in a football way" when he faces former side AS Roma on Tuesday.

The two teams meet at Anfield for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final, and Klopp knows his top forward will put any friendships aside, per The Independent:

"It feels quite special because you know more about the other team than you usually do. He had a fantastic time there. Italian defenders are famous for not having friendly games, and I am sure that he will feel early that they are not team-mates anymore, but he will strike back in a football way."

Salah was crowned the PFA Player of the Year on Sunday amid a stunning season that has seen him score 31 Premier League goals.

Klopp said he plans to tell the Egypt international what a fantastic achievement it is, per James Pearce at the Liverpool Echo:

The forward has also bagged eight goals in the Champions League, and Liverpool will look to him to continue his prolific campaign against the Serie A club.

Salah has said it will not be easy to play against his former team-mates, per Indy Football:

Salah's pace and ability to beat defenders is likely to cause problems, and he's on a strong scoring streak having found the back of the net in each of his last six games.

Liverpool have built a lethal attack with Salah alongside Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, and the Reds are the top scorers in the competition with 33 goals in 10 games, per UEFA Champions League:

The Premier League team will expect to score and may need to take a lead to Rome. The Serie A side's home form in the competition is excellent, and they have not lost, or even conceded a goal, at the Stadio Olimpico in the Champions League this season. 

Eusebio Di Francesco's team will also have to cope with what is bound to be an electric atmosphere at Anfield.

Reds captain Jordan Henderson said the supporters are a big help to the team, per Liverpool FC:

However, Klopp has asked for supporters to show respect after Manchester City's team bus was damaged before their quarter-final clash at Anfield, per BBC Sport:

Roma have already endured some difficult away trips this season. They drew 3-3 at Chelsea in the group stage and also lost 2-0 at Atletico Madrid. They were beaten 4-1 at Barcelona's Camp Nou in the quarter-finals but produced a stunning 3-0 win in the second leg to pull off a remarkable comeback.

The Italian side will know what to expect at Anfield and particularly from Salah. Di Francesco has said the fact his players know the Egyptian so well "can be an advantage," per Paolo Bandini at the Guardian.

Stopping Salah will be key for Roma if they are to make it all the way to the final, yet it is something few clubs have managed to do successfully this season.

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