When Liverpool and Bayern Munich face off in the first leg of the Champions League round of sixteen later today, many have Jürgen Klopp’s side as the heavy favorites. After all, Liverpool is level on points with Manchester City on top of the Premier League
table with a game in hand to retake the lead in the title race. But even though Bayern may not have really clicked under its new manager Niko Kovac yet, the club is still a European heavyweight, able to beat anyone on a good day (just ask Arsenal supporters).
As the following chart shows, “The Reds” and “Die Roten” have more in common than the color of their home kits, with both clubs pretty much on a level footing both financially and in terms of their past successes. Both clubs won the Champions League (or the European Cup as it was called before 1992) five times, with Bayern’s latest victory dating back to 2013 and Liverpool’s last triumph being that historic win over AC Milan in Istanbul in 2005. Liverpool came painfully close again last year, when they reached the final in Kiev, only to lose 3-1 to Real Madrid courtesy of two goalkeeper blunders and a Gareth Bale wondergoal.