Liverpool and Roma, two unlikely Champions League semi-finalists, are all set for the first leg of their last-four clash at Anfield on Tuesday.

The Italians will be greeted by at least one familiar face in Mohamed Salah, but it is the Egyptian who poses the biggest threat to their dream of returning to the final for the first time since they lost to Liverpool on home soil in 1984.

Salah made the move from the Italian capital to Anfield just 10 months ago, and has surpassed all expectations since with an incredible 41 goals in 46 Liverpool appearances to already net more times than he did in two years for Roma.

The 25-year-old was rewarded for his brilliant campaign by winning the Premier League’s Players’ Player of the Year award on Sunday evening, beating off stiff competition from Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne to the prize.

“I’m really happy for him, really proud of that, it is a fantastic achievement. I think if all the other players vote for you it means most to all players,” said manager Jurgen Klopp.

“In a season like this, when Kevin De Bruyne played a season like he did, it made it even more special.”

Despite their rich heritage in the competition as five-time winners, Liverpool haven’t been in the last four of the Champions League for a decade.

However, even Klopp’s men’s 5-1 thrashing of Premier League champions City over two legs in the last eight was upstaged by Roma coming from 4-1 down in the first leg of their quarter-final with Barcelona to progress on away goals thanks to a famous 3-0 second-leg win.

Klopp admitted he thought it was a joke when he was first informed of Roma’s result against Barca, but insists both sides should believe they can be European champions despite the presence of powerhouses Bayern Munich and 12-time winners Real Madrid in the other semi-final.

“If anyone thinks we two are the underdogs, who cares? We are in the semi-final and can go to the final.”

However, Roma coach Eusebio di Francesco warned that the pace of Liverpool’s prolific front three of Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino – who have combined for 83 goals this season – offers a very different threat to Barca’s Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

“We are facing a different rival from Barcelona and we need to be ready for that different challenge,” said Di Francesco.

“We have to play our football, impose our style and make the most of Liverpool’s weaknesses.

“We showed in the last league game we have progressed in our mentality and we need to show that again.”

With inputs from AFP