After securing the runner-up trophy last year, Liverpool fans are surely hoping for the ultimate glory in the Champions League this year. But, this time, they might have to start from a very difficult group of death.
No big tournament is complete without a group that consists of some of the best teams that face each other. Clash of a bunch of immensely talented players that turn out to be a treat to the eyes for any neutral. But there is a flip side to it, some of the big teams that could have made it big would have to face elimination courtesy of the points system. However, a group that involves the two finalists from last year’s Champions League is something more than just a group of death.
Jurgen Klopp and the Reds had to go through heartbreak when Liverpool lost to Real Madrid in a final marred by individual errors and an outstanding goal from Gareth Bale. However, as the scenario stands, Liverpool could again face Real Madrid in the group stage of the Champions League following a series of complex calculations.
Other two teams who could line up in this Champions League group are Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund. While Dortmund has been affected by transfers of some of the crucial players, the German outfit has managed to put together a squad that is a mixture of youth and experience, providing the perfect footballing blend for the side to flourish. Young guns like Christian Pulisic and Manuel Akanji could turn out to be the main pivots for the team.
Inter, on the other hand, would be the toughest nut to crack among the other three considering the names they have brought into their line up. Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi are the two names that stand out in a team that is forged with quality and class. A defence that has the experience of Miranda and Vrasljko makes the back line even stronger.
Despite the potential flair and firepower the other teams possess, Liverpool could still be tipped to go through from this group of death, thanks to the immense squad-depth the Merseyside outfit has brought in. While some might call this the worst possible draw for the Reds, this can actually be the perfect test of character for Klopp and his men to outshine the other European giants and clinch a place in the Champions League round of 16.
Klopp and his tactics were on point against Manchester City as they outclassed Pep Guardiola’s star-studded side over the two legs. However, a series of mishaps meant that Liverpool were denied a 6th Champions League title once again. The group of death that might include Real Madrid will give Liverpool chances to have a second bite of the cherry facing a Real Madrid side devoid of their star forward Cristiano Ronaldo. Further, the Reds have brought in more quality in the midfield, courtesy a brilliant summer transfer window that has seen the acquisition of much-fancied Guinea midfielder Naby Keita and Brazilian defensive midfielder Fabinho Tavarez.
The Reds seem to be the much more improved side with the options they have on the bench and it is needless to say about the amount of firepower they have up front.
Meanwhile, the stand of the group of death still rests upon a cascade of complex mathematical equations. Klopp’s boys could still avoid the group of death if certain qualifying results go their way. As it seems, the results have been in favour of Liverpool with Basel crashing out of the qualifying rounds against Greek outfit PAOK.
Liverpool now have their hopes tied to the Eagles of Lisbon as they take on Turkish giants Fenerbahce. A loss for Benfica against Fenerbache would see the Champions League runner-ups end up in pot two and a possibility of avoiding the group of death. Should Benfica win against Fenerbache, they would have to face either Ajax or Standard Liege. A victory against either of the two would mean that the Reds would have to settle for pot three alongside Schalke, Lyon, Dynamo Kiev, Monaco, RB Salzburg, CSKA Moscow and PSV thus, increasing the chances of a possible place in the group of death.
Whatever may happen, it is needless to say that the Reds would like to take inspiration from their run to the final of the Champions League, a campaign that they would be proud of. And with the present squad they have after the summer business, Liverpool look to be the team to beat this season.