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Could Klopp lead Liverpool to a 7th European Cup?

“We’ve won it six times. We’ve won it six times. We went to Madrid, and we won it six times”. Whether at Liverpool’s home stadium of Anfield, or from the away sections of some of Europe’s biggest and best stadiums, you can hear the kopites proudly roar about their successful adventures in Europe’s premier competition. And rightfully so, with the record they have, being one of only a few teams who have won it enough times to retain the actual trophy, and not just take home a replica for their trophy cabinet.

The truth is, the red team from Merseyside have a special relationship with the Champion’s League (formerly the European Cup). There is no other team in the Premier League who seem to be able to replicate the kind of magical nights that have been experienced time and again in front of the Scouse army. But there is good reason for that, because no other team has the same rambunctious support bellowing the famous You’ll Never Walk Alone anthem from the Kop end.

Take their recent victory over Barcelona just a couple of years ago. They travelled to the Camp Nou to face Barcelona in the latter stages of the knockout rounds of the competition. Despite a spirited performance, they came away with a 3-0 loss, to arguably one of the best teams this generation has ever seen with Lionel Messi leading the way for them. However, this was a two-legged affair, with the second taking place at Anfield. And under the floodlights, with the crowd behind them, they did the unthinkable. They turned Barcelona over with goals from Gini Wijnaldum and Divock Origi, leaving Barca speechless as they left England having lost 4-0 and now out of the competition they so desperately wanted to win.

With the supporters behind them on their home turf, Liverpool have, on many occasions created magical European nights like this. They’ve come back against the odds, dominated world class opposition, and over the years, racked up an impressive six titles along their journeys. Having made even more finals, but just falling short on a number of occasions. But how do their chances stand at going on to lift a seventh title? Can Klopp bring home yet more silverware? Let’s take a look…

How are they doing this campaign?

Going into the season, it is always good to understand what sportsbooks like bookmaker.eu offer the best odds to win this tournament as last season’s finalists Manchester City, along with a revamped PSG side who now boasted Lionel Messi in their ranks. In fact, Liverpool weren’t given much of a look-in, having been drawn in this season’s “group of death”. The term is dubbed for the toughest group drawn in this round of the competition.

Alongside Liverpool were current La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, Portuguese powerhouse FC Porto who boast an impressive 79 titles to their name, and Liverpool’s opponents from their 2005 triumph in Istanbul, AC Milan. Out of all the groups drawn, this was deemed to be the toughest. A group where anything could happen, anyone could proceed to the knockout stages, and any one could finish rock bottom.

But we’re now four games in, with Liverpool having played all three teams at least once, and Atleti twice. Of those four, they have won every single game, and not one tie has been a boring affair. With other results going their way during the campaign, they have already qualified for the next round, and not just that, it’s mathematically impossible for any other team besides them to top the group. Even if they lost their remaining two fixtures, they’d still sit comfortably in first place by a single point.

Klopp really couldn’t have helped Liverpool get off to a better start in this campaign. Although sadly, in their last fixture against the Atleti, they did lose starman Roberto Firmino to injury, so it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. But the squad has decent depth to it, and as long as they can keep Salah, Mane and Jota fit, with Minamino and Origi to swap in, they stand a good chance. And even if one of those picks up a knock, they also have flexible players who can move up the pitch such as Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Going forward in the competition

By topping their group, Liverpool have given themselves the best opportunity to progress further in the competition. As those who top their groups are pitted against the runners up from other groups. Theoretically meaning that they should get easier ties, but that isn’t always the case. For example, Manchester City and PSG, who we stated were favourites earlier, are both in the same group. So no matter what order they finish, someone has a tough tie on their hands there even if they win their own group.

But Liverpool thrive in knockout competitions, and they’ve been to a European final twice under Klopp, so they know what they need to do to get there. Then add to that the Anfield faithful who will be there to push their team on, and almost suck balls into the back of the net when Liverpool attack the Kop end, they stand an excellent chance of progressing. Even possibly winning the tournament. Especially as Liverpool never know when they’re beat, and no opposition phases them.

Add to that their current form, they’re undefeated so far this season in all competitions. They’ve won all matches so far in the Champion’s League, are through to the quarter finals of the Carabao Cup where they will host Leicester on the 22nd of December, and they sit in 2nd place, three points behind Chelsea in the league. It’s unlikely that they will continue to go unbeaten for the entire season, but if they do, then expected records to be broken, trophies to be picked up, and a massive party happening on the streets of Liverpool to celebrate.

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