UEFA Champions League Weds. preview: Salah time and Lyon’s opportunity

Martin Rickett/PA via AP
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Liverpool’s going to need to score on Wednesday at the Allianz Arena, preferably before penalty kicks, and the Reds have just the guy to do that.

Mohamed Salah is on a five-match dry spell in terms of goals, but the Egyptian star has done plenty of playmaking in the interim.

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He’ll be getting plenty of attention from Bayern Munich, because Liverpool can advance to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals via a win or scoring draw.

Still, there’s no question he could use production on a big stage like this, as he continues to draw comparisons to some of the game’s greats. While Salah has been sensational in the Premier League, scoring 17 goals with seven assists in 30 games, he’s simply been pretty good in the UCL (three goals, no assists, in seven games).

He’s completing 69 percent of his passes in the UCL compared to 76 in the PL, and 2.1 dribbles per game compared to one. With plenty of respect to Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, and an acknowledgment that the standard UCL match brings more attention than the standard PL game, that’s not going to cut it.

As for Wednesday’s other second leg, Lyon has a chance to spring a monumental upset of Barcelona and turn the whole competition on its ear.

Barca and Lyon played a scoreless draw in France, meaning a score draw can do the trick for the Ligue 1 visitors on Wednesday.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has maybe the pick of the quote litter, when it comes to the challenge faced by his club.

“It will be terribly difficult. The stadium will be full with one of the best teams in the world. We have a great desire to show that a French team can go further. It would be historic. It would be an unpretentious feat, but in line with what we want to do. This team plays brilliantly against top opposition.

“It’s a pleasure to come here, but there’s also the risk of leaving with less pleasure than when we arrived. Don’t be overwhelmed, but at the same time realize that this is a great opportunity. The squad believes in itself.”

Who goes through from the 0-0 match-ups?