Liverpool will make a return to the Champions League tonight after a five-year absence when they host Ludogorets Razgrad at Anfield.
The Reds are expected to ease past the Bulgarian champions in their opening Group B clash and to finish in the top two of a group that also comprises of reigning European champions Real Madrid and Swiss giants FC Basel.
The Merseyside outfit should progress to the last 16, but not many football followers would give them a chance of going beyond that. After all, Liverpool do not have a squad that can be compared to the likes of Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich or even fellow Premier League club Manchester City.
Or do they? Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes believes that Brendan Rodgers’s side can go all the way in the Champions League this season, highlighting Anfield as their main advantage.
‘Liverpool are the dark horse of the competition this year’, the ex-England international told ITV Sport. ‘Brendan Rodgers has done a fantastic job. The style of play he’s adopted is exciting to watch and the players seem to have taken to him.
‘I feel they will do well with the players they have. The big advantage they have is a home crowd. Anfield is always a hostile place to go, which is something Manchester City lack’.
Anfield is one of the most historic and famous stadiums in the world, and Liverpool fans will be extra pumped up due to this season being their first in the Champions League in years.
But will that be enough for Liverpool to get the better of stronger teams in Europe in the knockout stages (if they go that far)? Are the likes of Bayern, Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus not used to play in hostile grounds?
Perhaps it is best for Liverpool not to get carried away without having played a single Champions League game yet this season.