The Europa League isn't the most desirable competition to win and is often not part of the main agenda for both managers and supporters.
Lack Of Silverware
For some Liverpool fans especially, the Europa League is not a competition they are particularly keen on. Having scooped the European Cup five times, Kopites have become spoilt and feel that the Europa League is a tournament below their standards.
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However, the Reds are no longer in a position to pick and choose which competition they want to win. Having been starved of a major piece of silverware since they lifted the League Cup almost four years ago, the Anfield trophy cabinet is starting to look bare.
Some supporters are beginning to warm to the idea of winning the Europa League. It's stature has become much greater in recent years, with the likes of Chelsea and Atletico Madrid winning it within the last half-decade.
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Going For Gold
Jurgen Klopp does not come across as the character who is happy to not take one competition as seriously as the next. He’s a natural winner who wants to scoop every prize possible.
Liverpool meet Bordeaux at Anfield tonight and victory means that they qualify for the knockout stages of the competition.
Bordeaux are not in the greatest vein of form this term and sit 13th in Ligue 1, and are also winless in Group B.
With that in mind, Klopp could well be tempted to field a slightly weakened side to face the French outfit. Liverpool have a hectic few weeks ahead of them and Thursday’s fixture marks their first of ten matches within a 37-day period.
However, Klopp must resist temptation and start a fairly strong team against Bordeaux.
Topping Group B is vital for Liverpool. In the last 32, eight teams from the Champions League get a second bite of the cherry and drop down into the Europa League. There could well be some competitive teams who are in the draw - current holders Sevilla, as well as Bayer Leverkusen and Galatasary all could enter the competition.
If Liverpool want an easier ride to the next round, winning their group is the only viable way. If they are then drawn against a softer opponent, it only strengthens their chances of going all the way to Basel for the final.
Klopp started an under-strength side to face Bournemouth in the fourth round of the League Cup last month and his youngsters battled eagerly to register a 1-0 victory. The likes of Cameron Brannagan and Joao Teixeira displayed all of their capabilities in front of a home crowd and they both have a bright future.
But the German must keep his chief protagonists in his team. The likes of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Emre Can elegantly gelled together in Saturday’s 4-1 thrashing of Manchester City and their confidence is growing all the time.
Poor Home Form
The Merseyside outfit’s form has been shockingly poor on home turf this campaign. They’ve registered just three wins at Anfield in all competitions, scoring a dismal seven goals.
Klopp has emphasised how important it is to improve their form in L4. Anfield was once renowned as a fortress and visitors used to fear the worst prior to kick-off.
Teams are now travelling to face the Reds and show no shortage of confidence. Klopp must reignite the fire and, if he plays his most valuable resources, may plant seed to begin the blossom.
The ex-Borussia Dortmund boss’ high pressing style is on its way to being mastered, as displayed in away wins against Manchester City and Chelsea.
Liverpool must now find a way of breaking down teams who park the bus at Anfield. This term, West Ham United and Crystal Palace showed the blueprint of how to beat the Reds on the road. They also struggled to see off a (with the greatest of respect) lacklustre Rubin Kazan side who played the majority of the game with ten men.
Coutinho and Firmino both have the ability to make wonders happen in the blink of an eye, but have disappointed when teams set up with plenty of bodies behind the ball. There will be some hard work at Melwood to counter that issue and Thursday is a perfect opportunity to trial what they have practised.
Who do you think should start for the Reds tonight? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!
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