Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro is bullish that the club can contend for both the Spanish LaLiga and Champions League titles.

Reigning LaLiga champions Madrid return to action on Saturday against Eibar in the league, where they are third, six points behind leaders Atletico Madrid with 10 games to play.

Los Blancos will be back in continental action in midweek against Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final too.

"Everyone knows what we are capable of, that we can do it," Casemiro told TVE.

"We are going to fight until the end. We know that it is very difficult, but we will fight for both titles.

"For Real Madrid all games are important. We are already used to playing the big games.

"We like to play these type of games. First, we have to think about Eibar and then about the Champions League and the Clasico [against Barcelona on April 10]."

The Brazil international acknowledged Madrid, who won a trio of European titles from 2016 to 2018, have a difficult assignment against 2019 European champions Liverpool.

"It will be a very beautiful match and it will be decided on details," Casemiro said.

"Whoever makes fewer mistakes will win. Liverpool have great players and this match could be a Champions League final.

"These are very nice games that all the players want to play. We have to give everything in all the games, not only against Barcelona.

"They are games that when you win, give you a lot of encouragement for the final stretch of the season."

Manchester United have been let down by "sloppy results" this season but are constantly improving under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to midfielder Scott McTominay.

Solskjaer's side were eliminated from the FA Cup by Leicester City in the last match before the two-week international break – their first domestic away loss in 30 matches.

United were also knocked out of the EFL Cup by Manchester City at the semi-final stage and exited the Champions League in the group phase earlier in the campaign.

However, the Red Devils have advanced past Real Sociedad and Milan to reach the last eight of the Europa League, where Granada await, while they sit second in the Premier League.

United may be 14 points adrift of leaders Manchester City, albeit with a game in hand, but McTominay believes they are heading in the right direction.

"We've got a good group of players with top, top quality," he told ESPN.

"People are quite quick to forget how well we've done at times. It's the sloppy results that have let us down. This team is evolving. It's not a time to panic."

McTominay has appeared 39 times for United in all competitions this season, which is the most times he has featured for his boyhood club since making his debut in 2016-17.

He ranks particularly highly among United midfielders in the Premier League this term for duels won, his average of 6.54 per 90 minutes behind only Paul Pogba (8.08).

The Scotland international's game has also improved in other areas since last season.

McTominay's average of 46.54 successful passes per game in the top flight is an increase on 41.59 from last season, while his passing accuracy has gone from 80.91 per cent in 2019-20 to 87.58 this term.

Meanwhile, his tally of four goals puts him behind only Bruno Fernandes (16) in regards to United's highest-scoring midfielders.
 
"'I'm not perfect every game and I know that," McTominay said as he looked ahead to the future. "I've got a lot to improve on but there's also things I do well so I'm just trying to improve and kickstart my game to another level. 

"I just want to do my best. It's about consistency and playing well over the course of a season."

United return to action on Sunday with a Premier League meeting with Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford, where they will be aiming to make it six wins in a row against the Seagulls in all competitions, netting exactly three times in the last four.

Sergio Ramos is a major fitness doubt for Real Madrid's crucial fixtures against Liverpool and Barcelona due to a muscle injury in his left calf.

Doubts over the fitness of Los Blancos' talismanic captain, who has recently been contending with a knee issue, were raised after he was an unused substitute in Spain's 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Georgia and only played the final few minutes of the follow up 3-1 triumph against Kosovo on Wednesday.

Ramos was at Madrid's Valdebebas training complex on Thursday but was restricted to doing work in the gym and not out on the pitches.

As usual, Madrid did not provide a timescale for his recovery but a short statement read: "Following the tests carried out today on our captain, Sergio Ramos, by the Real Madrid medical department, he has been diagnosed with a muscular injury to the internal calf in his left leg. His recovery will be monitored."

The timing could hardly be worse for Madrid, who host Eibar in LaLiga on Saturday before facing off against Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.

Barca travel to the capital a week on Saturday for a Clasico that could go a long way to deciding which side are better placed to challenge LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid, while the return tie against the Reds takes place on April 14.

The omens are not particularly promising for Madrid against Liverpool considering Los Blancos have been beaten in seven of the past 10 games in the Champions League when Ramos has been unavailable.

In those games, they have conceded 19 goals – an average of 1.9 per match. Since last winning the competition in 2018, Madrid have won 10 of the 14 games Ramos has featured in – conceding only 13, an average of 0.9 per game.

The decision to bring Ramos on in those closing stages against Kosovo is sure to be a bone of contention for Madrid, with the skipper posting about his setback on Instagram.

"Yesterday, after the game, I was training on the pitch and noticed a puncture in the left calf. Today I have had the tests and it has been confirmed that I have a muscle injury," he wrote.

"If there is one thing that hurts me it is not being able to help the team in these games of the highest demand in which we play the season and also not be able to give back on the pitch the love and energy that you transmit to me.

"I can do nothing but speak frankly, work hard and encourage the team with the soul."

Ramos' future beyond the end of the season has been the subject of much debate in recent weeks, with the veteran centre-back linked with moves to MLS, the Premier League and Ligue 1.

Addressing the speculation after Spain's win over Kosovo, Ramos told TVE: "With my future I was very clear, there is no news and now I have nothing to say.

"When there is news, I will be the first to say it.

"We decide the season in two weeks, in LaLiga against Eibar and Barcelona, and in the Champions League against Liverpool, and hopefully we can play at a good level." 

It's June 25, 2020. Thousands of Liverpool fans have ignored government advice as they gather at Anfield for a very special occasion – the celebration of a first league title in 30 years.

Despite it looking a certainty for months, many Reds fans hadn't allowed themselves to be drawn in by the hysteria too early for fear of more heartache, but Chelsea's 2-1 win over Manchester City in London meant they had to wait no longer.

In the period between their two most recent top-flight titles – the last one coming even before the establishment of the Premier League – bitter rivals Manchester United lifted the trophy no fewer than 13 times.

But the title win was made even more significant by the manner of it, their dominance leaving everyone else well behind in the dust. Clinching the trophy with seven games to spare was a new record.

As fans clambered over the gates outside the Kop End and set off fireworks near the stadium, many – supporter or not – will have looked at those scenes and felt it was an image the rest would have to get used to, such had been Liverpool's consistency over the previous two years.

Yet, here we are in April 2021, approaching the Premier League's final straight with the defending champions looking hard-pressed to even finish in the top four.

A foreshadowing?

When Jurgen Klopp announced his decision to leave Borussia Dortmund in 2015, there was an initial sense of shock that was soon offset by the feeling it was perhaps to be expected. It was a testing season, and although a late upturn after the announcement saw them qualify for Europe, there was no getting away from the fact they had under-achieved.

While it was certainly not the only problem, one major issue for Klopp that season was injuries – at the time, it was estimated Dortmund's first-team players missed over 1,600 days due to injuries or illness.

As a base for comparison, Sky Sports claimed in early March that Liverpool players had lost just over 1,000 days to illness or injury this term. Granted, such data is difficult to nail down because exact timeframes aren't always confirmed by the clubs, however it does at least highlight a similarity.

Of course, another key component with regards to 2014-15 at Dortmund was the fact they lost Robert Lewandowski to Bayern Munich. Not only did he score 20 Bundesliga goals the previous season, the Poland striker helped knit their play together in the final third. Without him, so much changed in their attack.

Four Dortmund players scored nine or more Bundesliga goals in 2013-14, but only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – tasked with stepping up in Lewandowski's absence – managed this in 2014-15. Even then, his haul of 16 was only a personal improvement of three.

With key players frequently missing and new arrivals, such as Ciro Immobile, struggling to fit in, it's perhaps no wonder Dortmund's conversion rate dropped from 13 per cent to 8.3 – the only occasion it went below 11 per cent for Klopp at the club.

A common theory for his demise at Dortmund was the idea that Klopp had run the team into the ground after several years of playing high-intensity football, which subsequently led to more muscular injuries.

Dortmund engaged in 14.4 pressed sequences – defined as instances where the opponent has three or fewer passes in a sequence and it ends within 40 metres of their own goal – per game in each of Klopp's final two seasons, but his Liverpool side this term averages 18.9 each match, up slightly from 18 in 2019-20. This highlights the quality of the Reds' pressing style, but it also shows a significant increase in intensity even from his Dortmund days.

Although the correlation is difficult to prove conclusively, links between high-intensity football styles and muscle injuries are nothing new. If this was partly to blame for Dortmund's increased absences list, then Liverpool's situation – given their even greater intensity – appears comparable.

But while it's impossible to ignore Liverpool's injury situation, to suggest that's where their issues end would seemingly be false.

Below the usual standards

Of course, as Klopp has pointed out before, unplanned absences can have significant knock-on effects throughout the team.

So, the fact Virgil van Dijk has been out since October won't have just impacted Liverpool's defensive solidity, but it will have changed how they play out from the back and subsequently affected the midfield because the likes of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have had to fill in away from their usual roles.

However, where Liverpool seem to have had the most issues in 2020-21 compared to last season is actually in attack, with their goals-per-game average decreasing from 2.2 to 1.65.

Having converted 14.4 per cent of their shots in 2019-20, they are now netting at a rate of 11.1 percent – only in Klopp's first season at Anfield have the Reds recorded worse in a full campaign (10.8).

It's not as if Liverpool are having significantly fewer shots either, as they are averaging 15 every 90 minutes as opposed to 15.5 last term, however, some potential explainers do appear when you look a little closer at those shots.

Liverpool are trying their luck from outside the box more often (5.1 per game, up from 4.6) and getting fewer away inside the area than before (9.9, down from 11). On top of this, they have had just nine (0.31 per game) shots from fast breaks in 2020-21, less than half as often as either 2019-20 (0.73) and 2018-19 (0.63).

This all suggests the opposition is sitting deeper against Liverpool than before, restricting space better and limiting the options of Klopp's men in attack – the fact they're having more long-range attempts could be a sign of collective frustration, or a lack of invention.

Supporting the idea teams are sitting off Liverpool a little more is the fact they are averaging 191.7 passes in the final third each game. This figure was 180.9 in 2019-20 and 173.8 the year before – opponents are seemingly happier to absorb pressure, more confident that Klopp's side are unable to break them down.

This potentially goes some way to explaining why Sadio Mane has had a less fruitful season in front of goal, as his xG maps for this term and last show he's not having as much of an impact in the six-yard box.

He has only scored one Premier League goal in this part of the area during 2020-21, whereas last season he scored four, suggesting he possessed something of a poacher's instinct as well as a knack for the spectacular.

While his haul of seven goals is by no means dreadful, it's 3.3 lower than his xG value, showing he's missing good-quality chances on a more regular basis than he'd be expected. By comparison, in 2020-21 he overperformed his xG by 4.3 (18 goals, 13.7 xG) and the year before he boasted a 6.9 xG differential (22 goals, 15.1 xG).

This means that, while he was living up to his abilities as an elite-level chance-taker for the past two years, this term he appears to be struggling to adapt to his surroundings, with defences packed a little tighter.

With Mohamed Salah, however, there's been a slight change in the other direction in that his non-penalty xG of nine is actually less than the 11 non-penalty goals he's scored – in 2019-20 he had a negative 0.8 xG differential (16 goals, 16.8 xG).

As such, Salah appears to be handling the changes better than Mane despite opposition setups also causing him to think differently about his shots. Again, xG maps show the Egyptian isn't able to get as many high-xG shots off from the centre of the area, instead being forced slightly more towards the right, yet he's still netting with fine frequency.

Working smarter to restore pride

Whether Salah's outperforming of xG is sustainable or not is another matter, and one only time can tell, though Liverpool will likely need even more from him to prevent their season finishing with a whimper.

Similarly, Mane rediscovering his best form would be a major boost, and that appears to hinge on him dealing better with less space or getting on the end of more deliveries into the danger zone.

Liverpool's lengthy injury list has undoubtedly had some impact in 2020-21, yet it also seems clear they could work smarter in light of opponents approaching their fixtures slightly differently.

Upcoming games against Arsenal and Real Madrid could potentially provide the tonic given neither is likely to set up particularly defensively, and this might play into the hands of Mane.

A make-or-break week is on the horizon – defeat to the Gunners could leave the Reds eight points adrift of fourth, while losing in Madrid will likely ruin their Champions League hopes.

As people clamour to proclaim Liverpool the worst Premier League champions ever, it's time to restore a little dignity.

Manchester City need a top number nine like Erling Haaland if they are to compete with the best teams in Europe, according to Shaun Wright-Phillips.

City and Sergio Aguero announced this week that the star striker will be leaving the club after 10 years when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Pep Guardiola's team are among many of the continent's leading sides who have been linked with a transfer pursuit of Borussia Dortmund sensation Haaland.

Aguero has only made five City starts in all competitions this season due to injuries, so they have often deployed a false nine rather than a recognised striker like the Argentina forward or Gabriel Jesus.

Wright-Phillips – who had two spells with City totalling nine seasons – has been impressed by how City have adapted but feels a focal point is still needed in the biggest matches.

"They have to look for a direct replacement," Wright-Phillips told Stats Perform News.

"If you're going to have big team like that without a so-called number nine, it would be strange to a lot of people in the world. 

"You can play with a false nine against a lot of teams, but say you're playing Real Madrid – Sergio Ramos, he'll be happy not to have striker in front of him. 

"Then he can see everything, so there's certain teams in the world that know how to deal with that pretty easily. 

"To have a number nine up there, it gives them a headache, something to think about. And they have to be on their A-game all the time as well."

Haaland is the striker who stands out as the best pick to Wright-Phillips, with Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku among the others forwards to have been linked with City.

The 20-year-old has scored 21 goals in as many Bundesliga games this season and tops the Champions League scoring charts with 10 from six outings.

"For me if you are talking about going for someone, I think I would say Haaland," added Wright-Phillips.

"Not only obviously because of how well he's doing but because of his age as well. They've got him for a good 10 years if they choose to keep him or if he does well. 

"That would suit the City team better, in the respect that most of their players are under 27 or 28, apart from maybe Kevin De Bruyne. 

"There would be nothing wrong with the Haaland decision.

"People say the wages and stuff like that – everyone can see in football what can happen, which is pretty much anything, so I don't put any of that past them. 

"It could be any one of those strikers [Kane, Lukaku, Haaland] – City are going to create chances and you have seen their goalscoring records, they're going to take them the majority of the time."

Robert Lewandowski will miss both Champions League quarter-final clashes with Paris Saint-Germain after Bayern Munich confirmed he is to be sidelined for a month with a knee injury.

Lewandowski sustained damage to his right knee during Poland's 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over Andorra on Sunday, a game in which he scored twice.

Poland subsequently confirmed he was to play no part in the upcoming clash with England and that he was due to return to Bayern for treatment.

It was initially thought the 32-year-old would only be absent for up to 10 days, however, Bayern confirmed on Tuesday that the issue is slightly more serious than first suspected.

A statement revealed Lewandowski is now expected to be out for most of April.

It read: "Robert Lewandowski has strained a ligament in his right knee. The FC Bayern striker will be out for around four weeks.

"After Poland's 3-0 win over Andorra, Lewandowski returned early to Munich, where a diagnosis was made by the German record champions' medical team."

While losing Lewandowski for so long would be a major blow regardless of the opponents Bayern have lined up, his forced absence comes at a particularly critical moment in the season.

The reigning Bundesliga champions face title rivals RB Leipzig this weekend, before meetings with PSG in the Champions League either side of Union Berlin's visit.

Those contests with PSG will be repeats of last season's Champions League final, which Bayern emerged from as 1-0 victors last August.

Losing Lewandowski will cause Bayern significant concern in attack, with their squad not possessing another senior central striker, meaning either Thomas Muller will be moved in to deputise or Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will take on a more important role for the time being.

On a personal level, losing a month of the season could derail Lewandowski's hopes of breaking Gerd Muller's record of 40 goals in a single Bundesliga campaign.

The former West Germany star achieved the feat in 1971-72 with Bayern and Lewandowski is just five adrift, having netted 35 in 25 games this term.

Assuming Lewandowski is out for exactly four weeks, he will have three matches to score five or more goals – those games coming against Borussia Monchengladbach, Freiburg and Augsburg.

Robert Lewandowski will miss both Champions League quarter-final clashes with Paris Saint-Germain after Bayern Munich confirmed he is to be sidelined for a month with a knee injury.

Lewandowski sustained damage to his right knee during Poland's 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over Andorra on Sunday, a game in which he scored twice.

Poland subsequently confirmed he was to play no part in the upcoming clash with England and that he was due to return to Bayern for treatment.

It was initially thought the 32-year-old would only be absent for up to 10 days, however, Bayern confirmed on Tuesday that the issue is slightly more serious than first suspected.

A decision on whether a new format for the Champions League will be implemented has been put back to April 19.

UEFA's executive committee was reportedly expected to sanction changes to Europe's premier club competition post-2024 at a meeting on Wednesday.

The topic will still be discussed, but there will be no announcement until next month, UEFA has clarified.

Under the proposed amendments to the Champions League, there would be a 10-match first phase, with the current group stage scrapped.

There would also be 36 teams to qualify rather than 32 and two clubs could receive 'wildcard' entries.

Those wildcards would be handed out to clubs with the highest UEFA co-efficient - points ranking clubs on their past European success - who qualified for the Europa League but missed out on the Champions League due to the position they finished in their domestic competition.

A statement from the governing body said: "UEFA can confirm that a meeting of the executive committee will take place tomorrow, Wednesday March 31, and that the future of club competitions post-2024 will be one of the topics discussed.

"However, any official decision in this respect will only be made at the next UEFA executive committee meeting on April 19, in order to finalise ongoing discussions."

Both legs of Chelsea's Champions League quarter-final with Porto will be staged at Sevilla's Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium.

UEFA announced the move on Tuesday, with the coronavirus pandemic placing restrictions on travel to and from certain countries.

The governing body said in a statement: "UEFA is able to officially confirm that the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first and second leg matches involving FC Porto and Chelsea FC, will now both be played at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in Seville. The dates of the matches (7 April and 13 April 2021) and the kick-off times (21:00CET) will remain the same.

"UEFA would like to thank FC Porto and Chelsea FC for their support and close cooperation, as well as the Portuguese Football Federation, the Football Association, the Royal Spanish Football Federation and Sevilla FC for their assistance and agreeing to stage the matches."

The Blues played the first leg of their last-16 tie with Atletico Madrid in Romania, with travellers from the UK banned from entering Spain.

Thomas Tuchel warned his side against complacency for the Porto tie even before losing the benefit of a game on home soil, with Chelsea having been installed as firm favourites to reach the semi-finals.

Chelsea have won five of their eight prior meetings with Porto, including all four at Stamford Bridge, their best 100 per cent home win rate against any opponent in European competition.

But given the Portuguese side eliminated Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus in the last round, head coach Tuchel is not taking Chelsea's progress for granted.

"Clearly, many people will maybe now make us the favourites against Porto," he said. "That will not help us. You can ask in Turin about the opinion on this, if it helps you to be favourites. It does not help you.

"But we are self-confident. Being self-confident is strongly connected with our performances. We are confident that we face a strong opponent that we face with all the respect.

"Now we are in the quarter-final, we think about how to win it. The only thing we focus on is to reach the semi-finals. We are self-confident enough that we see our chances."

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah refused to rule out an Anfield exit as he hinted at a move to LaLiga amid links to Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Salah is contracted to Premier League champions Liverpool until 2023, but his future has become a talking point having previously refused to dismiss the prospect of joining Madrid or Barca in an interview with Diario AS in December.

The Egypt international has been a revelation since leaving Serie A outfit Roma for Liverpool in 2017, spearheading the Reds to Champions League and Premier League glory.

As Liverpool prepare to face Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals, with the opening leg on April 6, Salah was asked about his future.

"It's not up to me," Salah – who has scored a joint-high 17 Premier League goals this season – told Marca when asked if it is time to leave Liverpool.

"We'll see what happens but I prefer not to talk about that now."

When pressed on whether a move to Spain appeals, having already experienced England and Italy, Salah added: "I hope to be able to play for many more years. Why not?

"No one knows what's going to happen in the future, so... maybe one day, yes."

Salah's relationship with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has made headlines amid reported tension between the pair.

Liverpool forward Salah was visibly frustrated when he was substituted by Klopp in the Premier League defeat to Chelsea earlier this month, with the German boss forced to play down the issue.

"It's a normal relationship between two professionals," Salah replied after being asked about his relationship with Klopp. "That's how I'd describe it."

The upcoming blockbuster Champions League tie will be a reunion between Liverpool's Salah and Madrid captain Sergio Ramos.

Salah was injured and forced to be substituted with a shoulder injury in the 2018 Champions League final after being hauled down by Ramos as Madrid went on to beat Liverpool 3-1.

Ramos was criticised for the incident, which impacted Salah's participation at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

"That game is in the past, so I don't think about it," Salah said. "I'm thinking about the team. Everyone is focused on their team and everyone wants to win... that's it."

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane says he is prouder than ever to be at Liverpool despite a turbulent season.

After winning the Champions League and Premier League in consecutive years, the 2020-21 campaign has been more challenging for the Reds.

Liverpool are down in seventh place having struggled with key injuries and poor form.

Sitting 25 points behind leaders Manchester City, Mane called on his team-mate to fight but insisted he has never been more proud to represent the Reds.

"In football – and in life in general – you can't expect anything and for years and years this complicated situation has not happened," Mane told reporters while on international duty with Senegal.

"We have always been successful, but now this has happened and we can see it is like how life is.

"To change it? Nothing else but stick together, be positive and fight.

"This is what we try to do to change this situation and I'm sure that it will change. I am more proud than ever to be a Liverpool player.

"I am happy, I am really enjoying being here and sharing the pitch with my team-mates for Liverpool Football Club."

Liverpool won their last match before the international break 1-0 at Wolves, with a huge clash against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium coming up next Saturday.

While they have struggled at Anfield, the Reds have won four of their past five away Premier League games (L1), as many as they had won in their previous 15 on the road in the competition (D6 L5). 

They will also face Real Madrid in a mouth-watering Champions League quarter-final tie.

Ahead of a crucial spell, Mane called for his team-mates to battle and was not prepared to use injuries as an excuse.

He added: "Let's be honest, we are in a difficult time and this sometimes happens to teams, which again is part of football.

"We have to deal with the situation and not stop believing, but keep fighting, keep our motivation and go again. When you are a fighter you never try to make excuses. We are here to find solutions.

"Being together with my team-mates always gives me high energy.

"You can see the quality of the team and if you came to the dressing room.

"I think you would have no other option than to see your future like it is going to be bright because with this squad and this team there is the attitude and belief that everything will change."

It was Diogo Jota who scored the winning goal for Liverpool at Wolves, the forward's return from injury coming at a welcome time.

The form of regular front three Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah has been questioned at times this season amid a hectic fixture calendar.

Salah has gone five league games without a goal, while Mane and Firmino have both struck just once in 11 top-flight appearances in 2021.

Mane, though, did net in both legs of the Champions League last-16 victory over RB Leipzig.

He played the full 90 minutes as Senegal drew 0-0 with Congo on Friday.

Lucas Hernandez has joked he is ready to go to war with compatriot Kylian Mbappe when Bayern Munich face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarter-finals.

The heavyweight clubs were paired together in Friday's draw, potentially giving PSG a chance to exact some revenge following last season's 1-0 loss to the same side in the final.

Hernandez was an unused substitute for Bayern that day, while Mbappe played the full 90 minutes through the middle of the French giants' three-man attack.

France international Hernandez played the full 90 minutes of Bayern's 2-1 second-leg win over Lazio in the last 16, but he has more regularly been used as a substitute this season.

But if the versatile left-sided defender is given the nod to play against PSG in either leg next month, he is up for the challenge of keeping prolific countryman Mbappe quiet.

"If I have to face him I will say two or three words to keep him quiet," Hernandez said in an interview with L'Equipe. 

"I will tell him above all he should stick to PSG's left side. If he comes to the right then it will be a war! I'm kidding, but it's true he has a talent and we must be vigilant with him.

"The Champions League is what we are aiming to retain on May 29. Everyone is determined to do exactly that."

Mbappe reached the 30-goal mark for the campaign with his double in Sunday's 4-2 win against Lyon, while also bringing up a century of Ligue 1 strikes in the process.

At the age of 22 years, three months and one day, he overtook former Saint-Etienne striker Herve Revelli as the youngest player to reach three figures for goals in the division.

That victory moved PSG to the top of Ligue 1, keeping them on course for a clean sweep of trophies in Mauricio Pochettino's first campaign at the helm – the Argentinian having replaced Thomas Tuchel in January.

Bayern are the team PSG have defeated the most in European competition (five times), but they have won just one of the last four encounters – a 3-0 win in September 2017.

Hernandez, currently away on international duty with France, is expecting a tight contest when the sides face off in April.

"It will be a huge match," he said. "It will not be easy to eliminate them and they will be after a little revenge following last season's final.

"The Parisians will be envious, but so will we. Several important players have left but other great players have replaced them.

"When you see our offensive quality, we create four chances and score four goals - it's incredible. But we also have a solid defensive block. Everyone is ready to give their all."

Hernandez has played 29 times in all competitions this season, which is already four more than he managed in the whole of last season when struck down by injuries.

Bayern have won 10 and drawn two of the 12 league games Hernandez has started this term, compared to three defeats in 14 games without the defender in their XI.

And having put his injury troubles behind him, the 25-year-old is eager to continue taking his chances when they arrive.

"It's true that I have had periods where I have played less than I wanted, but Hansi Flick always trusted me," Hernandez said. "In his speeches he always used to count on me.

"That's why when I wasn't playing, I sometimes struggled to understand. But this year I have come back from my injuries. I'm now 100 per cent and the coach knows that.

"It's always flattering when a coach says 'it's great to have a player like you'. He knows it doesn't matter if I play 10, 30 or 40 minutes. I'll give my all, and he likes that."

Andy Robertson hopes the fallen Premier League champions can "show the Liverpool" of old and salvage their campaign in the remaining two months of the season.

The Reds ended a 30-year wait for title success last season and were top of the pile again at Christmas, but they have slipped to seventh - 25 points off leaders Manchester City - after a run of four wins in 15 games since then.

That includes an ongoing unwanted club record six home league defeats in a row, and eight without a win at Anfield, to leave the Merseyside outfit in a battle to make up a five-point gap on the top four with nine matches remaining.

However, Liverpool have a Champions League quarter-final with Real Madrid to look forward to after seeing off RB Leipzig in the last 16, which they followed up with victory over Wolves last time out in the league.

And after winning back-to-back games in all competitions for only the second time this calendar year, left-back Robertson is targeting a strong finish to the season to ensure 2020-21 still ends on a high.

"Of course the results at club level haven't been good enough," he told Sky Sports.

"We believe that we should be higher up the table and competing which we were doing before Christmas. We just took a bad turn but hopefully we have seen the back of that now. 

"Hopefully we can show the Liverpool of old and we can keep kicking on and the season might not be all bad come the end of it. There's still a long way to go."

Only four Premier League teams have collected fewer points than Liverpool's 15 since Christmas, the Reds winning four, losing eight and drawing three of their last 15 matches.

Jurgen Klopp's men have scored 12 goals and conceded 17 across that period, compared to 45 and nine respectively in two games more for Man City, whose form has gone the opposite way.

Robertson added: "Unfortunately we have not had as good a season as we probably thought but there's still time to fix it - not to the extent we would like to fix it - but there's still time to make it a bit better.

"We're used to juggling two competitions. We have got to go on all fronts. We need to go for both [top four and Champions League] - we need to get up the league as high as possible - we need to put a run together.

"We have struggled for consistency this season. You don't make the top four unless you put six, seven, eight results together and that's what we need at the end of the season."

Klopp has regularly bemoaned his side's injury issues this campaign, having lost centre-backs Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip to long-term injuries, plus influential skipper Jordan Henderson.

And Robertson, who has started all 29 league games for Liverpool this term, feels the absence of some big names has put extra responsibility on his shoulders.

"It's been a different season," he said. "I like the responsibility. I have always had that responsibility at Liverpool.

"But maybe a bit more has been put on me this season with the likes of Virgil being out, Henderson being out, Gomez being out, Matip being out."

Pep Guardiola has no regrets over Jadon Sancho's decision to leave Manchester City, insisting he is thrilled the winger has gone on to become a star for Borussia Dortmund. 

Frustrated by the lack of a clear pathway from City's academy through to the first team, Sancho left Manchester in 2017 to continue his career in Germany, just a year into Guardiola's tenure. 

It was hailed as a brave decision by the 17-year-old at the time, though he broke into Dortmund's side during his first season with the club, scoring once in 12 league appearances. However, Sancho blossomed from a promising talent to a verified superstar during the 2018-19 campaign.  

He will get the chance to shine against his former side in the Champions League next month, with Dortmund drawn against City in the quarter-finals. 

Yet despite Sancho's transformation into one of Europe's finest attacking talents, Guardiola has no hard feelings over the player's choice to leave City. 

"I said many times, not a regret, he decides," Guardiola told a news conference. 

"He's doing really well, congratulations, an exceptional player. A national team player with huge quality, doing really well in Dortmund. 

"We wanted him to stay but he decided to leave – when they decide to leave all we can do is [let them] leave. I wish him all the best except when he plays against us. If he's happy, I'm happy." 

Since the start of the 2018-19 season, Sancho has provided 48 assists across all competitions – 22 more than Marco Reus, who ranks second for Dortmund across the same period of time – with BVB winning 72 of the 118 games he has featured in. 

Only Erling Haaland (47) can better Sancho's goal tally of 45, while he leads the way for chances created with 251 – an impressive 101 more than second-placed Raphael Guerreiro. 

Of those opportunities, 56 have been categorised as 'big chances', which are judged by Opta as those where it is expected a player should score. 

Sancho also compares favourably when up against some of City's squad. Only the exceptional Kevin De Bruyne has created more chances (343) in the same timeframe, while the Belgian has crafted 87 big chances. 

De Bruyne's assist tally stands at 48, level with Sancho, who ranks behind just City trio Raheem Sterling (69), Sergio Aguero (58) and Gabriel Jesus (56) in terms of goals scored.

Guardiola, though, remains philosophical about Sancho's choice.  

"Nobody knows – maybe he stays and we don't play good or better. Every person decides the life they lead, other people have to respect it," he continued. "We want him, he decides to go, all the best." 

Seven of Sancho's goals have come from fast breaks, outlining his importance to Dortmund when they are able to counter-attack opponents. 

Haaland is second in Dortmund's squad in that regard with five fast-break goals, with Guardiola well aware of the task City face in trying to keep BVB's vibrant attack at bay. 

"We will face him, try to control him. We know the quality he has, everyone knows," said Guardiola of Haaland, son of former City player Alf-Inge. 

"The individual quality in Dortmund is from all departments, a strong team. In the Champions League, they always have done well."

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