First of all, congratulations. We’re in the show. Sure, transfer danger seems to lurk around every corner but right now Liverpool are in a great moment. Backs are being pat at this very second all over the world. And you can bet there’s been at least one earnest ‘Huzzah.’ It wasn’t me. I did a simple, little, eyes-closed exhale because of my quiet surroundings. But it was very classy, very tasteful.
So, pot three. Let’s talk about it. This is our home for the draw along with seven other roommates who we’ll be huddled with in front of the picture radio on the big day. Allow me to introduce you to Napoli, Tottenham, Basel, Olympiakos, Anderlecht, Roma, and Besiktas.
Liverpool cannot be drawn with any teams in their pot nor can they be drawn with any other English team. So, no chance of facing Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United or Spurs. Beyond that it’s either all down to carefully orchestrated deception and ceremony or luck.
There are some interesting combinations what with the current drama(s) happening between Liverpool and clubs elsewhere. Barcelona springs to mind. As does RB Leipzig. A Philippe Coutinho masterclass against his old, rebuffed suitors would give us tingly shoulders for weeks. And the chance to get one over on Energy Drink is a teasing possibility.
We’ve already handed it to Bayern Munich in preseason but a rematch could be on the cards. Jürgen Klopp could once again be tasked with besting his old Borussia Dortmund, something Liverpool accomplished in dramatic fashion last spring on the way to the Europa League final. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Dirk Kuyt’s final club, Feyenoord, will be hidden somewhere in the wilds of pot four.
It’s been some time since Liverpool had a manager with the experienced nous for European nights that Jürgen Klopp has. So, it’s unsurprising that he is nonplussed by any of the flashy names in the tournament.
“We should be there in the Champions League and we are really excited about who we get,” said Klopp.
“It is fourteen months of the hardest work and it feels amazing.”
Juventus could play in front of the Kop this season. Last year’s winners, Real Madrid, could be handed an opportunity to be on the receiving of a proper Anfield twelfth man. And, Brendan Rodgers. Remember him? He’s still up at Celtic. We could do a thing with him and his boys even. What a world.
“There will be few nice and difficult opponents but no one, with this atmosphere, wants to get us in the group stage,” added Klopp.
There’s going to be confidence a-boosting in that Liverpool squad. And with Champions League play a sure thing, I’ll wager the club get a bit business done in the coming week, too. Cough, defense, specifically, cough. All to set us up for a deep run in Europe.
The draw begins on Thursday, at 17:00 BST/12:00 EST. Now, who would you like to see Liverpool dominate in the group stage?