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New names & favourable travels – Who do Liverpool fans want in Champions League draw?

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European football is nearly back on the agenda for Liverpool and after a lacklustre attempt last season, there’s plenty to be optimistic over this time around.

The Reds are just a day away from finding out who will lay in wait in the group stages of the Champions League this season, with a place in pot two potentially making for a tough draw.

But with fans back at Anfield and key names returning to the squad, there’s no reason why No. 7 cannot be a realistic aim for Jurgen Klopp and co. in 2021/22.

First up will be six group games, where the likes of Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Ajax and AC Milan could be possible opponents when the draw takes place on Thursday.

It begs the question then of who Liverpool fans want in the draw…

 

Lewis Bower (@LewisBower2021)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, March 15, 2012: Sporting Clube de Portugal fans celebrate their side's victory over Manchester City during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 2nd Leg match at City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by Vegard Grott/Propaganda)

Let’s go relatively easy with Liverpool the clear favourites.

Pot 1 – Sporting Lisbon: Do not pose as much of a threat compared to others in the pot and also offers the chance to run the rule over LFC-linked Pedro Goncalves and top talent Nuno Mendes. A game Liverpool should win but could throw up entertainment, similar to Salzburg in 2020.

Pot 3 – Atalanta: I’m probably naive to think the Italian outfit haven’t learned from their mistakes but the man-to-man system they had used last time we played saw Liverpool provide the kryptonite as they played them off the park.

Pot 4 – Malmö: They look set to qualify against Ludogorets and would pose somewhat of a different feel than the usual opponents.

It is always interesting to see how the Scandinavian clubs stand up to the rest of Europe. A hotbed of talent who definitely rely more on smart recruitment.

It would be a relatively easy group who would make Liverpool work enough that a gradual increase in quality can be seen. Perhaps Liverpool and Klopp will be more inclined to share minutes and blood in some fresher faces, which will only be beneficial as the season wears on.

 

Joanna Durkan (@JoannaDurkan_)

I love a bit of a mix when it comes to the group stage, a combination of a headline tie, short travel destinations and then what would look like a straightforward game, on paper that is.

In saying that, would I be mad to suggest Bayern? Most definitely, but why not? I want to be in the midst at Anfield when it’s all on the line and they’d certainly tick the box for my box office pick.

Then I’d like us to avoid those we’ve played against in recent years in pot three and so I’d be happy to see us come up against Zenit Saint Petersburg, although it would provide a mid-week travel headache which isn’t ideal, but I fancy Mo against Lovren…

And then Malmo to close out the group and offer a change of scenery and a different challenge that on paper should be easy for Liverpool to navigate.

 

Ellis Lechtman (@LFCZA)

2EM6GBM LILLE, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 18: Jonathan David of LOSC Lille during the UEFA Europa League match between Lille OSC and Ajax at Stade Pierre Mauroy on Feb

The ideal pot group for me, starting with pot one is Lille (who seem to be struggling this season) or Sporting.

From pot three there are still three slots up for grabs at the time of writing so difficult to say, but I think it’s all about getting the right combination of short journeys and easy opponents. FC Salzburg or Brondby (depending on who wins their qualifier) might be good opponents if they end up in this pot.

And from pot four, based on the trip and strength of the opponent, I’d fancy us going to Belgium to face Club Brugge.

So a great group (which of course won’t happen) would be:

  • Lille/Sporting
  • Liverpool
  • Salzburg/Brondby
  • Club Brugge

 

Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87)

BERGAMO, ITALY - Tuesday, November 3, 2020: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Atalanta BC and Liverpool FC at the Stadio di Bergamo. (Pic by Simone Arveda/Propaganda)

I like the thought of drawing Sporting Lisbon out of pot one. It’s a winnable two games and a belter of an away day if fans are fortunate enough to go to Portugal.

We need to avoid Atletico Madrid at all costs – I’m sick of the sight of them.

I’d love another couple of games against Atalanta, so they’d be my choice from pot three. Granted, they are a dangerous attacking side, but I think their positive style plays into Liverpool‘s hands, as we saw last season. It could be all-out entertainment.

Finally, I like the thought of getting Sheriff Tiraspol, mainly because they have a great name and Liverpool have never played them before.

They should represent a relatively comfortable six points in the group, as well as possessing an air of mystery.

 

Aaron Cutler (@aaron_cutler)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 11, 2020: Liverpool's xxxx during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético de Madrid at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Regardless of who Liverpool are drawn with on Thursday, we should never lose sight of just how great it is to be in the mix.

Qualification for the Champions League can never be taken for granted, especially when you’re competing in the toughest domestic league in Europe. There were points last season where our participation looked highly unlikely.

Ahead of any drawing I always have one eye on a glamour tie, one where Anfield is resplendent and the Kop feral. For that reason, I’d quite like to see us paired with Atletico Madrid from pot one. The small matter of revenge for our 2020 exit will also be on the mind.

Pot three poses a real threat this season, with any one of Ajax, Atalanta, Porto, RB Leipzig and Zenit capable of springing an upset. That said, travelling Reds were denied a trip to Amsterdam last year so it would be nice to soak up that atmosphere… pandemic permitting.

As for pot four, I’d rather we avoid a trip to Besiktas and all that entails. Perhaps we can settle an old score with Brondby who knocked us out of the UEFA Cup back in 1995!

Let us know who you want to see Liverpool drawn against in the comments below!


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