Given the astonishing domestic pedigree of Liverpool and Rangers, it’s hard to predict how the two clubs will get on when they face each other. Particularly because, despite a shared history of 130 years, this will be the first time they have faced each other competitively in European competition. However, having seemingly waited all season for the 'true Liverpool' to show up, I think this is an occasion with all the necessary ingredients to inspire a resurgence – and with it a more familiar, Klopp-esque performance.
These two giants of the beautiful game are going head to head on Merseyside with their European fortunes hanging in the balance. In fact, their future in the 2022/23 competition could be decided over the course of an all-British doubleheader in the next eight days.
For Liverpool it’s a must-win clash, as they attempt to arrest an alarming slide in performance that has seen Jürgen Klopp’s side drop 11 Premier League points already this season; it’s a far cry from the seemingly untouchable side that has graced the English top flight over the past few years. Meanwhile, having ended a period of domestic dominance by Celtic – with Steven Gerrard at the helm – Rangers are attempting to rediscover their identity under Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
Despite the misfiring start to this campaign, Liverpool remain a serious threat in the competition, not least with their uncanny ability to rise to any European occasion at their home fortress. Following a catastrophic opening-night defeat in Naples, the Reds left it late to overcome Ajax. They will be desperately seeking one of those famous Anfield nights to truly get their Champions League campaign up and running. The Rangers fans will certainly play their part: they will be determined to make the most of their first trip to our iconic stadium and will certainly be making their voices heard.
Klopp continues to ease summer signing Darwin Nuñez into his plans so the Uruguayan – who scored six times in the competitions last term – may have to be satisfied with a watching brief once more, as a fit-again Diogo Jota and an in-form Roberto Firmino continue to prove their worth.
This is a clash bursting with the tantalising intrigue of the unknown and a little apprehension, but it’s one in which the Reds simply must come to the fore. I expect my team to show their true colours and get the job done with relative ease, enabling us fans to enjoy the spectacle.