Liverpool will once again get going in the UEFA Champions League as they take on Inter Milan in their Round-of-16 tie on Wednesday.
The Reds have won the European competition six times but will need to do their best to get past the reigning Serie A champions.
Liverpool will be aiming to breeze past Inter Milan in the Champions League Liverpool have been one of the best teams in European football this season.
They have won all six games in the Champions League group stage and are currently only six points off the top of the Premier League.
However, none of those things matter in a knockout competition, especially against a side that has been impeccable in the Italian league this term.
Although the Reds did defeat AC Milan on both occasions in the group stage, Inter Milan are likely to pose a far sterner test for the Anfield outfit.
Hence, Jurgen Klopp will need his main stars to produce their best performances in both legs of the tie.
On that note, let’s take a look at five players who could prove key for Liverpool in their Champions League Round-of-16 tie against Inter Milan.
5 Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk could not help his side progress in the Champions League last season due to injury but is raring to do so this season.
The Dutchman is one of the finest center-backs in world football and will be looking to showcase his abilities against Inter in the two-legged tie.
While the 30-year-old’s long-term injury was bound to affect him at the start of the season, he appears to be in good shape now.
The defender is outmuscling opponents for fun and comfortably outpacing the best attackers in foot races.
However, Inter Milan will be hoping to pose some real problems for the Liverpool star through the likes of Edin Dzeko, Nicolo Barella, Lautaro Martinez and Hakan Calhanoglu.
With the Reds continuing to play a high line against their opponents, Van Dijk will be key in stopping the formidable frontline of the Nerazzurri.
Fabinho has been one of the most reliable players for Jurgen Klopp in the last couple of years.
The central defensive midfielder provides ample protection to the backline but is also crucial in helping set up attacks.
The Brazil international is a pivot in the center of the pitch, and almost everything flows through him.
His distribution of the ball has always been immaculate, but his strength on the ball is also admirable.
Since the start of 2022, he has also added a goal-scoring touch to his game.
The South American has bagged six goals and one assist in 27 games for the Reds across all competitions so far.
However, he is bound to take care of his primary defensive responsibilities against Inter Milan, as they will be looking to attack Liverpool throughout the game.
While Fabinho is capable of stopping the best attackers, he will need to be at his best to do the same against arguably the best team in Italy this term.
3 Trent Alexander-Arnold
Trent Alexander-Arnold has been unstoppable for Liverpool this season, including in the Champions League.
The right-back is arguably the best full-back in European football at the moment but could face a tricky test against Inter Milan.
Although primarily a defender, the 23-year-old is the chief creator for the Reds.
He can whip in crosses and start counter-attacks, thanks to his sensational range of passing.
The Englishman is also a goal threat as he possesses the ability to smash powerful shots from long distances.
Fortunately for Liverpool, his offensive contributions have not affected his defensive responsibilities as he is also an excellent interceptor of the ball.
However, with Inter Milan likely to use their full-backs as a tool to keep Alexander-Arnold in his own half, the defender will need to improvise.
Alexander-Arnold has three assists in three Champions League appearances this season. He will be hoping to add to that tally against the Nerazzurri.
2 Diogo Jota
Diogo Jota has developed into one of the most dangerous marksmen in European football this season.
The center-forward is scoring goals for fun, and he will hope to carry his Premier League form into the Champions League for the upcoming Round-of-16 tie.
Jota performed better than many would have hoped last season, but he has taken his game to the next level in the current campaign. The Portuguese ace is fast, two-footed, and one of Liverpool’s best aerial assets.
Moreover, he presses from the front and capitalizes on the mistakes of the opponents.
The 25-year-old also carried the Reds when Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were away on AFCON duty.
He is currently the second-highest goal-scorer in the Premier League this season, with 12 goals to his name.
Although the Champions League is a different ball game, Jota will be hoping to add more to his tally against Inter Milan.
Jota suffered a minor injury recently and was on the bench in the victory against Burnley at the weekend. He is likely to be back firing on all fronts against the Nerazzurri
1 Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah had a heart-breaking AFCON tournament as Egypt suffered a 4-2 defeat (penalty shootout) to Senegal in the final.
However, he looks good to go for Liverpool again, as was evident by his display in their 1-0 victory against Burnley.
While he has been the most lethal attacker in the Premier League this season, the Egyptian has not been too shabby in the Champions League either.
So far, he has seven goals in six group-stage games, the third-highest this season, behind Ajax’s Sebastian Haller and Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.
However, Salah will now be up against a team that has conceded the second-fewest goals in Serie A this season.
Fortunately for the African forward, the unavailability of Inter Milan star Alessandro Bastoni will give him every opportunity to capitalize.
Salah remains one of the fastest and trickiest players to face in Europe this season.
He is the talisman for Liverpool, and they will be counting on him to get them through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.