Liverpool reached last season’s Champions League final and after a summer transfer window in which the depth of the squad was greatly enhanced, Jurgen Klopp will be desperate to go one better this time around to lift Europe’s most prestigious footballing honour.
The draw for the group stages was made on Thursday evening and it wasn’t particularly kind to Liverpool – in fact Group C might well be this season’s Group of Death with PSG, Napoli and Red Star Belgrade also involved.
With that in mind, we asked Football FanCast’s expert writers to give their verdicts on one simple question – where will the Reds finish in their Champions League group?
“After two decades without a league title, Liverpool must go for broke in the Premier League this season and could take advantage of Manchester City who will be desperate to improve their displays in Europe. In a tough group with Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli, form at Anfield will be crucial but it may not be enough to see them advance – however it could work out in Klopp’s favour domestically.”
“Liverpool have shown with their impressive start to the season just how good they are going to be over the next few months, and that form will definitely translate into the Champions League as well. Brilliant at home and stronger as a unit defensively than they were last term, they also have the attacking players to hurt teams when they are playing away, and they won’t – and needn’t – fear teams like PSG and Napoli.”
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“Liverpool have the quality to beat every team in their group comfortably, but the amount of incredibly intense games after the international break might just take its toll. The Reds will face Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea twice, which will make the first couple of group games incredibly hard. They should have enough to go through, but they will almost certainly be rotating players to focus on the league, particularly for the matches against Red Star Belgrade, so second is a realistic expectation.”
“Many believe that Liverpool will prioritise the Premier League this season as they have their best chance to go all the way, but Klopp has enough strength in depth this time around to fight on all fronts. The manager’s style of play suits a competition like the Champions League and when they come up against free-flowing sides, it will work in Liverpool’s favour. It is certainly a difficult group to navigate through, but if Klopp rotates his team accordingly during a busy period of fixtures, there is no reason why they cannot make it through, but runners-up seems the most likely outcome.”
“Klopp’s side will give PSG a good run for top spot, but a tough away tie in Naples could be their undoing. Whilst Liverpool have undoubtedly improved defensively since this time last year, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and co. will certainly provide a stern test for the Reds’ back line.
“Last year’s beaten finalists have been dealt a tough draw, but should have enough firepower to see them into the next round. There are no pushovers in this group though, and Klopp will have to guard against complacency against Red Star Belgrade.”