LIVERPOOL’S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE CHALLENGE – WHAT MUST BE DONE.

Liverpool have faced Spanish giants and current defending Champions League holders Real Madrid twice now and come away with no points to show for it. Nothing to be too ashamed of really – we put up a fight against the current Champions of Europe and we lost.  There could be no finer opponent in the whole of the tournament that we would rather have beaten us.

The important issue here is not performance, it’s the loss of points. We had 6 available points to claim and we failed to claim them from our opponent. WHAT MUST BE DONE NOW… is claim 6 more points from the other teams in our group that we already know are not as strong as Madrid, to help us qualify to the knockout round of the Champions League.

There are several scenarios that can happen on the path to the elimination or continuation of Liverpool’s Champions League campaign this season. I’ll talk you through them all.

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SCENARIO 1: in Liverpool’s game against Ludogorets today, they manage to pull off a win against us and claim all 3 points. If Basel also beat Real Madrid in their game, Liverpool cannot qualify to the knockout stages.

SCENARIO 2:  in Liverpool’s game against Ludogorets today, they manage to pull off a win against us and claim all 3 points. If Basel also DRAW in their game against Real Madrid, Liverpool cannot qualify to the knockout stages.

SCENARIO 3: in Liverpool’s game against Ludogorets today, they manage to pull off a win against us and claim all 3 points. If Real Madrid win against Basel (while we lose our game), Real Madrid must then beat Ludogorets in their next Champions League fixture and we would need to beat Basel and score at least 3 goals, to make up the goal difference in order to qualify for the knockout stages.

SCENARIO 4: in Liverpool’s game against Ludogorets today, they manage to hold Liverpool to a draw and each get a single point. If Basel also beat Real Madrid in their game, Liverpool cannot qualify to the knockout stages.

SCENARIO 5: in Liverpool’s game against Ludogorets today, they manage to hold Liverpool to a draw and each get a single point. If Basel also get a draw in their game with Real Madrid, Liverpool must go on to beat Basel and it would be best if it was done by a 2 goal lead, unless Real Madrid get beaten by Ludogorets in which case any score that resulted in a win for us (even 1-0) would be enough for Liverpool to qualify to the knockout stages.

SCENARIO 6: in Liverpool’s game against Ludogorets today, they manage to hold Liverpool to a draw and each get a single point. If Real Madrid also win their game against Basel, all Liverpool have to do is go on to beat Basel (by any score) to qualify for the knockout stages.

SCENARIO 7:  in Liverpool’s game against Ludogorets today, Liverpool manage to win and claim all three points. If Basel also win in their game against Real Madrid, Liverpool would most likely have to beat Basel in their next game by a 2 goal lead. Goal difference will be a factor in qualifying and 1-0 wins will not allow Liverpool to continue to the knockout stages. 2 or 3 goal leads in Liverpool’s victories will be necessary for qualification.

SCENARIO 8: in Liverpool’s game against Ludogorets today, Liverpool manage to win and claim all three points.  If Basel also only get a draw and a single point against Real Madrid, Liverpool then can simply go on to beat Basel in their next game by any score to qualify for the knockout stages.

SCENARIO 9: in Liverpool’s game against Ludogorets today, Liverpool manage to win and claim all three points.  If Basel also lose their game against Real Madrid while Liverpool got their win, Liverpool then can simply go on to beat Basel in their next game by any score to qualify for the knockout stages.

That’s all the scenarios that are possible and I have to say, I prefer SCENARIO 6 (Liverpool draw and Basel lose to Real Madrid), SCENARIO 8 (Liverpool win and Basel draw with Real Madrid) or SCENARIO 9 (Liverpool win and Basel lose to Real Madrid) because after any of those scenarios, all Liverpool have to do to gain qualification to the knockout stages is go on to beat Basel by ANY score – no significant lead will be necessary, even a 1-0 victory against the Swiss side could secure our place in the next round of the Champions League and will see Liverpool continue in our European campaign this season.

Other scenarios are much more complicated and require goal difference advantages. We don’t really want to be in the position where simply having less or more goals than the other teams in the group will be the key point for our qualification. We haven’t had huge leads on our opponents when we played our Champions League games this season. To expect it to suddenly happen now is rather unrealistic and it would be rather heartbreaking to see Liverpool win 1-0 and yet not continue to the next round due to a goal difference disadvantage.

HAVE CONFIDENCE, Reds! We have beaten Ludogorets before – I am confident we will go on to do the same once more. While Liverpool are winning their game, I also believe Real Madrid will just continue storming their way through the group and claim themselves yet another win which would make it SCENARIO 9.  Out of all the scenarios that are possible, I would bet on this one to happen and it will mean that a win of any score against Basel in their next game would be enough for Liverpool’s qualification to the knockout stages. We will soon see if I’m right about my prediction.

Don’t lose hope about our chances of qualification and keep the faith.

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WALK ON, REDS… WALK ON with hope in your hearts. YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE!

[written by] Stuart Drewery.

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I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so i was born into being a red.

I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.

I’m a die hard Liverpool fan (only supported ONE club in my whole life, Liverpool) and one of the most dedicated fans you’ll ever meet.

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