Are Liverpool in 'perfect' European place? Brendan Rodgers says so


Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool face a 'perfect' situation as they prepare to go in pursuit of Champions League progress against Basel.

You can see where Brendan Rodgers is coming from when he describes Liverpool’s Champions League standing as ‘perfect’.

Yes, they would have preferred to avoid holders Real Madrid at the group stage and to have booked their place in the last-16 prior to the final round of fixtures.

This is, however, the Reds’ return to European football’s top table following a spell in the wilderness and they are determined to savour every minute of it.

To still be in with a shout of reaching the knockout stage with 90 minutes of action still to come is, therefore, a decent achievement.

Liverpool also have history when it comes to this sort of situation, with a memorable night at Anfield a decade ago seeing Steven Gerrard net a spectacular late strike against Olympiakos en route to a fifth continental triumph.

More of the same is required against Basel on Tuesday, with Rodgers looking for inspiration from somewhere as his side chase down the victory they need to prolong their adventure into the New Year.

He said in the Liverpool Echo: “I said at the beginning it would come down to the final two games.

“It was our first year back in the Champions League and everyone was seeing that Real Madrid would probably go on and win the group.

“For us, we could not have wanted any more than to go to Anfield on Tuesday night needing to win the game to get qualified. It’s perfect.

“We would have wanted to have done better, but we still have the chance. The most important thing is to qualify.”

He added: “We will get great support and there will be energy.

“I am looking at that as being a big advantage for us. I am really looking forward to the atmosphere.”

The Anfield crowd will have a big part to play in midweek, with it vital that any nerves in the stands are not transferred onto the field.

If things do not go Liverpool’s way early on, everyone needs to stick together and push forward as one red wave.

If they can do that, you have to fancy that a raucous atmosphere will be enough to inspire the hosts and have them dreaming once more.

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