Liverpool welcome Roma to Anfield in the Champions League on Tuesday for the biggest game the club has faced in the last ten years.
The Reds haven’t reached the semi-finals of Europe’s top club competition since the 2007/08 season, where they were defeated 4-3 on aggregate by Chelsea.
Saturday’s 2-2 Premier League draw at West Bromwich Albion highlighted that Liverpool’s defensive frailties haven’t been totally eradicated just yet, although Roma will provide a completely different test than the one posed by the Baggies.
Complaints by manager Jurgen Klopp about the state of the pitch at the Hawthorns were probably borne out of frustration that his side had blown what should have been a comfortable two-goal lead.
However, Klopp will be pleased that they completed the game without any injury scares and they remain eight points clear of fifth-placed Chelsea in the league.
Tuesday’s game against Roma has created a huge buzz around Liverpool and local businesses are bracing themselves for a lucrative few days.
Hotels in particular have been cashing in, with Barbara Adams from Cheaphotels.org reporting that about 80% of hotels are sold out for April 24.
Adams says that a stay in the city centre in a hotel rated at least 3 stars will cost around £300 for the cheapest available room, the highest rate recorded in Liverpool for many years. However, there are a few more affordable options still available on the outskirts of the city..
More than two million hotel rooms were booked in Liverpool in 2017, with the sector continuing to grow in revenues and expansion of capacity.
The city region visitor economy is now estimated to be worth around £4.3 billion a year and Liverpool’s success on the pitch will undoubtedly help that figure grow in the future.
Liverpool are favourites to reach the Champions League final, but with Bayern Munich and Real Madrid also in the last four it will not be easy to claim this season’s trophy.
The Reds’ record of just nine wins from their previous 25 meetings with Italian clubs is a cause for concern, although in two-legged knockout ties they have won four and lost two.
Liverpool previously defeated Roma on aggregate in the Europa League in 2001 and they recorded a win and a draw during the second group stage in the Champions League the following season.
Roma won their first three two-legged knockout ties against English clubs, but they have since lost six out of six.
However, they finished top of their group above Chelsea and Atletico Madrid in the first stage of the competition and their comeback against Barcelona in the last round showed their quality.
Roma warmed up for the semi-final with a 3-0 victory at lowly SPAL in Serie A on Saturday and they will certainly provide a stiff test for Liverpool to overcome.