Ferdinand elevates Liverpool into joint-favourites for Champions League

Matthew Briggs
Liverpool TEAMtalk

Rio Ferdinand has placed Liverpool as joint-favourites with Bayern Munich to win the Champions League this season.

The bookies have last season’s champions Bayern as their outright frontrunners, with Man City second favourites ahead of Jurgen Klopp’s men.

But the Reds’ 5-0 hammering of Atalanta has thrust Liverpool into Ferdinand’s thinking for Europe’a top club competition.

“Along with Bayern in this competition,” Ferdinand told BT Sport on Liverpool’s position as Champions League favourites.

“I think in the Premier League they’re the team to beat, they’re the standout team, the team that’s been the most consistent over the last couple of years.

“But in the Champions League they are really putting some performances in now and they’ve ghosted this league [group stage].”

Meanwhile, Klopp insists Diogo Jota’s sensational form has not given him a headache when it comes to breaking up his established front three.

Much of the success Klopp has had, winning the Champions League and the Premier League, has been down to the way Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have combined on the forward line.

However, Firmino was dropped for the 5-0 Champions League win against Atalanta in Bergamo to make way for the in-form Jota and the new signing seized his chance with a hat-trick.

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No headache for Klopp

The former Wolves player has scored six goals in the last 10 days and already has more goals for the club in 2020 (seven) than Firmino (five).

And while some may see that as being a problem for the Brazil international, Klopp views it differently.

“Good performances never give me a headache,” he said.

“For tonight the decision it was clear. It made sense to use the good shape Diogo is in and because of the way Atalanta plays and defends the skillset of Diogo helps.

“But the world is sometimes a bad place that in a moment when someone is shining we speak immediately about another player – who it feels like played for us 500 games in a row and we wouldn’t be in the Champions League if Bobby Firmino is not with us – and I have to explain why he is not in the team. He will be in the team.

“It is important we have more than 11 and tonight Diogo played a super game and that says nothing about Bobby and nothing to do with causing me headaches.

“I am more than happy the boys played like they played tonight.”

READ MORE: Jota opens up on amazing Liverpool start; picks favourite goal of hat-trick