With over 128 years of competitive action under the belt, Liverpool have not been short of talent, but which starting XI throughout those years is the best-ever? It’s up to you to decide.
This is the first group of four in a series which will crown Liverpool’s best-ever XI in a knockout competition where you determine the victors.
Today: Group A
Wednesday: Group B
Thursday: Group C
Friday: Group D
From European Cup finals to league clashes and FA Cup finals, the Reds’ long list of managers have been spoilt for choice when considering their starting XIs.
In this series, we pit 16 carefully selected all-time Liverpool XIs against one another to determine which takes the crown of the Reds’ best-ever.
Seven different decades are included across the group stage which is made up of four groups of four, where you will determine which two from each group qualify for the quarter-final stage, with the semi-final and final to follow.
Without further ado, here are our contenders for Group A.
Champions League Final 2005
XI: Dudek; Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Traore; Alonso, Gerrard; Garcia, Riise, Kewell; Baros
The Champions League-winning side set up in a 4-4-1-1 formation in one of the most famous games in world football, with the Reds defying both the half-time scoreline and AC Milan’s superior talent across every department to get across the line.
Rafa Benitez’s side became greater than the sum of their parts, where their mental resilience more than made up for the gulf in quality to the opposition.
European Cup Final 1977
XI: Clemence; Neal, Smith, Hughes, Jones; Callaghan, Case, McDermott, Kennedy; Keegan, Heighway
Bob Paisley’s men were on the European Cup final stage for the first time, and although without the target man in John Toshack, the likes of Kevin Keegan, Phil Neal, Ray Clemence, Steve Heighway and Terry McDermott were able to pick Borussia Monchengladbach apart to the tune of 3-1.
Patient and methodical, yet free in their movement, Liverpool’s first European Cup-winning side had more than one string to their bow as they kickstarted our love affair with football on the continent.
FA Cup Final 1965
XI: Lawrence; Lawler, Byrne, Strong, Yeats; Stevenson, Callaghan, Smith, Thompson; Hunt, St. John
The men of Shankly’s best, the XI who clinched the club’s first-ever FA Cup was littered with names which helped form the foundations of the era of dominance which followed.
Roger Hunt, Ian Callaghan, Ron Yeats, Ian St John and Tommy Lawrence, who would all cement their name into Liverpool’s history books, were among the XI as Liverpool secured a 2-1 win over Don Revie’s Leeds United.
LFC 4-3 Newcastle 1996
XI: James; Wright, Scales, Ruddock; McAteer, Barnes, Redknapp, Jones, McManaman; Collymore, Fowler
A game defined by all-out attack and little defence, for both sides. Roy Evans’ men were sitting in third position in the league when the two teams met in April 1996, with Steve McManaman, Stan Collymore and Robbie Fowler providing the firepower.
The defence was an entirely different story but while no longer at the peak of his powers, the Reds also had John Barnes and all his experience to turn to on a night where their passion and intensity took centre stage.
Which are Liverpool’s TWO best lineups from Group A? The top two progress, cast your vote here: