Jurgen Klopp came so close to delivering Liverpool’s first Champions League since 2005 last season – just one game away. He’s definitely got the players to do it, as the recent win over Paris Saint-Germain proved. Will this be the season that ends the 13-year wait for a reunion with the big-eared trophy?
If it is then Klopp’s crop will go down in history like the players from 2005. As things stand though, who would be in a combined XI of the two squads? Do you go with proven trophy success under Rafa Benitez, or the brilliant football and huge potential of the players Klopp has assembled?
That was the question Betting.net posed themselves when deciding to come up with a combined XI of the 2005 Champions League winners and the 2018 contenders. Some of the selections are almost automatic – how can you not have Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane? – and a midfield of Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso and Dietmar Hamann can’t be ignored either.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez can surpass Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher, and if Andy Robertson can reach the levels John Arne Riise did for years – a goal like the one Riise scored against Manchester United would help. What might be most encouraging though is that it doesn’t feel ridiculous to suggest it’s possible for any of those three from today to better the defenders from 2005. Trent Alexander-Arnold’s already gotten in ahead of Steve Finnan too.
As for the goalkeeper, there’s a lot of pressure on Alisson to prove he was worth the money spent over the summer, particularly if you think Liverpool would have won the Champions League last year but for Loris Karius’ mistakes. Either way, Liverpool are in their best place for years, and it should only get better.
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