Liverpool play in their first Champions League Semi-Final since 2008 when they take on AS Roma tonight at Anfield.

The Reds go into the fixture as favourites to make it through to the final, where they would face either Bayern Munich or defending Champions Real Madrid at the Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex in Kiev, Ukraine.

But first, they must negotiate a tricky two-legged tie against a Roma team that came from a position where they seemed dead and buried at 4-1 down to knock-out FC Barcelona in the last stage.

They will have to nullify the threat of former-Manchester City forward Edin Džeko and emerging wonderkid Cengiz Ünder, while the Italians must find a way to stop their former teammate, newly-crowned PFA Player of the Year Mohamed Salah.

The Italian Job - Rampaging Romans

Despite their inconspicuous start to this season's Champions League campaign, the Giallorossi turned everyone's heads with their extraordinary comeback against the Catalan giants two-weeks ago.

They topped their group before Christmas but only did so by having a better head-to-head record than second-placed Chelsea, and were uninspiring in their two victories over minnows Qarabag by a solitary goal.

Much better was their away goals victory over a dangerous Shakhtar Donetsk side who had been the only team to beat Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, which set up their quarter-final clash against Barcelona.

Written-off after the first-leg, where they were comprehensively beaten 4-1, Eusebio di Francesco's team produced one of the finest second-leg performances in recent memory as goals from Dzeko, Daniele De Rossi, and Kostas Manolas put their opponents to the sword.

That surprise victory over Barcelona will give Roma confidence in their ability to beat Liverpool over the two legs, but their opponents are one of the most dangerous attacking sides in Europe this season.

Stopping Salah & Co is not an easy task

Football fans the world over have been marvelling over the prowess of the trio of Salah, Mané and Firmino all season, but it was the thorough dismantling of the runaway Premier League winners in the last stage that really got people believing that Liverpool really could win the Champions League.

That 5-1 aggregate win over Manchester City demonstrated not only their ruthlessness in attack but also that they really can put on an excellent defensive performance - not something that they have always shown in recent seasons.

A similarly complete performance is required over the next 180 minutes of Champions League football if Jurgen Klopp wants to guide his Liverpool side to a first Champions League final since their heartbreak at the hands of AC Milan in 2007.

But the Reds do have European pedigree - they are 5-time winners of the competition, most recently in Istanbul two years prior against the same opponents.

In 2005 they were huge underdogs playing against the best team in the world at the time, and will be against the odds once again should they negotiate their way past Roma.

Their most likely opponents in Kiev would be Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid, and although they haven't had the best of seasons domestically, their Champions League record in recent seasons speaks for itself - Los Blancos have won three of the last four tournaments and haven't lost a final in the competition since 1981.

Their conquerors that day? A Liverpool side managed by club legend Bob Paisley.

But first, attention turns to Roma tonight, where the Reds will want a comfortable lead to take to Stadio Olimpico for next week's second-leg.

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