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How Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool compares to Brendan Rodgers' 2013/14 side

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It’s been 26 long years since Liverpool last won a league title.

Liverpool dominated English football for much of the 70s and 80s but haven’t tasted glory since 1990.

However, this year, there’s hope that Jurgen Klopp’s side can finally put an end to their long, long wait. Liverpool are currently top of the league after 11 matches and the bookmakers have them down as second favourites, behind Manchester City.

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But the Merseysiders have come close to winning the Premier League on a couple of occasions previously.

In the 2001/02 campaign under Gerard Houllier, they finished second - although they were seven points behind Arsenal and never really looked as though they would be crowned champions.

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Under Rafa Benitez, they came second once again during the 2008/09 season as they lost just twice but finished four points behind Manchester United.

But the closest they have ever come to winning the Premier League was during the 2013/14 season under Brendan Rodgers. Liverpool came within inches of ending their drought but a Steven Gerrard slip and a collapse against Crystal Palace saw them eventually finish two points behind Manchester City.

Can they go one better this time around?

Well, we’ve compared this current Liverpool side to Rodgers’ in the 13/14 season to see which is better. The results are pretty conclusive.

GOALKEEPER

2013/14 - Simon Mignolet
2016/17 - Loris Karius

Simon Mignolet hasn’t really improved since arriving at Liverpool for £9 million in 2013. The Belgian has to make do with being a back-up to 23-year-old Loris Karius this season, despite the German not looking too convincing since his arrival this summer.

If Klopp is picking Karius over Mignolet, then so are we.

Winner: Karius (16/17)

Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League

RIGHT-BACK

2013/14 - Glen Johnson
2016/17 - Nathaniel Clyne

Nathaniel Clyne is establishing himself as one of the best right-backs in the Premier League after signing from Southampton last summer. Clyne is a solid defender and has improved greatly going forward.

He gets the nod over Glen Johnson who was often guilty of making defensive mistakes during the 2013/14 season

Winner: Clyne (16/17)

Crystal Palace v Liverpool - Premier League

LEFT-BACK

2013/14 - Jon Flanagan
2016/17 - James Milner

Jon Flanagan and James Milner are polar opposites in terms of left-backs. Flanagan was a young, passionate defender who loved flying into tackles. Milner is an experienced professional who brings reliability to Liverpool’s back-line.

There can only be one winner and we trust Milner more.

Winner: Milner (16/17)

Swansea City v Liverpool - Premier League

CENTRE-BACK

2013/14 - Martin Skrtel
2016/17 - Joel Matip

The signing of Joel Matip on a free transfer this summer is proving to be one of the best buys for Liverpool in recent years.

Martin Skrtel may have scored a handful of really important goals during the 13/14 season but he couldn’t be relied upon throughout the whole campaign.

Winner: Matip (16/17)

Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League

CENTRE-BACK

2013/14 - Mamadou Sakho
2016/17 - Dejan Lovren

Mamadou Sakho is still a Liverpool player - although Klopp probably wishes he wasn’t.

Dejan Lovren has transformed his Liverpool career in recent years and is starting to look an accomplished centre-back - although he is still guilty of lapses of concentration.

Winner: Lovren (16/17)

Crystal Palace v Liverpool - Premier League

CENTRE-MIDFIELD

2013/14 - Steven Gerrard
2016/17 - Emre Can

Moving Gerrard to a defensive midfield role was a masterstroke by Rodgers. Although he’s not exactly a ball-winning midfielder, his ability to start attacks was crucial for Liverpool.

Emre Can is at the other end of his career but the German is starting to develop into a promising player. However, no matter what he achieves at Liverpool, he won’t surpass Gerrard’s ability.

Winner: Gerrard (13/14)

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-ASIA-THA

CENTRE-MIDFIELD

2013/14 - Jordan Henderson
2016/17 - Jordan Henderson

This may be the same player but we can still compare them. Three years ago, Henderson was equally important to Liverpool than he is now - epitomised by the fact he missed the matches against Chelsea and Crystal Palace which saw Liverpool throw away the title.

However, Henderson is now captain of the club and has improved greatly. He has a better passing ability and has more energy than he had three years ago. He's also grown into his captaincy role and is a true leader.

We know which Henderson we prefer.

Winner: Henderson (16/17)

FBL-ENG-PR-CRYSTAL PALACE-LIVERPOOL

CENTRE-MIDFIELD

2013/14 - Philippe Coutinho
2016/17 - Adam Lallana

Rodgers used Philippe Coutinho in a deeper position than he is playing now. In fact, he played a very similar role that Adam Lallana is now playing for Liverpool.

Now, we’re aware that Coutinho is a better player than Lallana. But we’re comparing the 13/14 Coutinho playing in central midfield to Lallana - who is playing very impressively at the moment.

Coutinho only managed five league goals during the 13/14 season and Lallana has already managed three. Therefore, we’re going for Lallana.

Winner: Lallana (16/17)

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-WATFORD

FORWARD

2013/14 - Raheem Sterling
2016/17 - Philippe Coutinho

Raheem Sterling burst onto the scene during the 2013/14 season with Rodgers making another brilliant tactical decision to play him ‘in the hole’ for large parts of the campaign.

Sterling’s pace and creativity stretched defenders, leaving Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge plenty of space to do their thing.

However, Coutinho is currently on fire and is attracting interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona with his performances. He’s added goals to his game this season and gets the nod ahead of a young Sterling.

Winner: Coutinho (16/17)

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-WEST BROM

FORWARD

2013/14 - Daniel Sturridge
2016/17 - Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane has been magnificent since he arrived from Southampton this summer and has already scored six goals in 10 league appearances. Mane’s performances are keeping the current Daniel Sturridge out of the side with him having to make do with a place on the bench.

However, we can’t forget about how good Sturridge was back in the 13/14 season. Twenty-one goals in 29 league appearances means he just edges Mane for this one.

Winner: Sturridge (13/14)

Everton v Liverpool - Premier League

FORWARD

2013/14 - Luis Suarez
2016/17 - Roberto Firmino

Roberto Firmino has made the strikers' role his own this season and is really starting to pay back his £29 million fee from last summer. Five goals in 10 matches in a decent return but he’s no Luis Suarez.

The Uruguayan scored an incredible 31 goals in 33 league matches for the Anfield club as he almost led them to the league title.

Winner: Suarez (13/14)

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - Premier League

MANAGER

2013/14 - Brendan Rodgers
2016/17 - Jurgen Klopp

Rodgers was a fairly underwhelming appointment by Liverpool after previous spells at Watford, Reading and Swansea. The Northern Irishman was often mocked by rival fans for his similarity to The Office’s David Brent and never really fully won over everyone at the club.

On the other hand, Klopp arrived at the club after a very successful spell at Borussia Dortmund - a very similar model to the one at Liverpool.

He led them the back-to-back Bundesliga titles and the Champions League final. While rival fans didn’t exactly take to Rodgers, there aren’t too many people that dislike the entertaining German.

Winner: Klopp (16/17)

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-WATFORD

So, we make that 9-3 to the Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Whether this current Liverpool team can go one better than Rodgers’ side did and win the Premier League remains to be seen but it certainly appears as though they’re capable of going all the way.

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Topics:
Brendan Rodgers
Steven Gerrard
Luis Suarez
Football
Premier League
Jamie Carragher
Liverpool
Daniel Sturridge
Jordan Henderson
Philippe Coutinho

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