Sports Burst - Liverpool in Marsch-land

Reuters

By Tim Stannard

 

Jesse Marsch leads Red Bull Salzburg in all-or-nothing epic encounter that could see defending champions out of the Champions League

 

While Sports Burst certainly has an eye for the dramatic, there is a reasonable chance that Liverpool could end up with the team's first bad result for about year today and out of the Champions League as punishment. 

"Everyone knows it is a final," declared Jurgen Klopp on Monday ahead of a clash with Austrian side, Red Bull Salzburg in Austria. 

The Champions League has reached the final match-day stage and Liverpool are one of the big cheeses with their future still very much in the air, despite currently being top of Group E. 

If Klopp and co. win or draw, then Liverpool are through. Should they lose then Liverpool will need to rely on Genk getting something out of a clash against Napoli in Italy. 

In theory, Liverpool should be just fine. 

However, there is one factor to bear in mind. RB Salzburg is run by an American, heck yeah! 

And he won't want anyone being the sheriff in town on his turf. 

RB Salzburg boss, Jesse Marsch, is a rarity in being both an American soccer coach abroad and an American soccer coach abroad that is successful. The former NY Red Bulls manager has built a footloose and fancy-free team in Austria that is top of the Bundesliga, driven by the goals of the 19-year-old forward, Erling Haaland, who has 24 league and Champions League strikes to his name already

Marsch has already taken Liverpool to the brink this season by coming back to 3-3 after being 3-0 down in Anfield before eventually losing by just the single goal thanks to a Churchillian halftime speech. 

A team stuffed with confidence, goals and an American can-do attitude is a huge threat to Liverpool with Marsch promising that "we have some special ideas" planned for the visitors. 

The Sports Burts live show will try and work out what they are at 12PM ET on the beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page

 

Inter in Messi-less Barca battle for Champions League future

 

As well as a sound of mayhem music in Austria, Group F is likely to be fiery as well on Tuesday with Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan fighting for the one remaining qualification spot for the next round of the Champions League. 

That place is currently owned by Inter Milan who face an already qualified Barcelona in Italy. However, it's a Barcelona with Leo Messi left behind, which is a very different prospect. 

Dortmund are equal on points with Inter, so any kind of slip-up for the Italians will give an advantage to the Germans who are at home to Slavia Prague and should feel confident about winning that one. 

RB Leipzig are already qualified in Group G with Zenit and Lyon scrapping for the second spot. 

Group H has three teams busting for the top two spots on the final day. Ajax are current group leaders and are playing third-place Valencia, two points behind. If second place Chelsea beat Lille at home then qualification for the next round is guaranteed no matter what happens in Amsterdam.

All perfectly clear, really. 

 

PSG want Liverpool striker as their new Mane man

 

It looks like Neymar is going to spend the rest of the season celebrating goals by gloomily making 'shush' gestures to the turf. But hey, if it gives him his kicks, then more power to him. However, this rebellious instinct spreading to Kylian Mbappe might be a whole different kettle of fish for the PSG bosses.

Nevertheless, France Football is reporting that an uneasy truce has been drawn up between Neymar and Neymar's dad and that will see the Brazilian staying on at PSG with only minimal fuss or drama until the end of the season when we will all rinse and repeat the Barcelona transfer storylines. 

However, the story has progressed a little with the paper declaring that PSG will be eying Sadio Mane as his replacement. 

There is an awful lot working against that deal. Liverpool are not exactly a selling club, Mane is under contract until 2023 meaning that the fee demanded could be at least double that paid by Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho, which could be upwards of $300 million. 

But should PSG were to lose both Neymar and Mbappe to Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, then the French club will need a dramatic makeover but will also have the funds to pay for it.