By Wayne Veysey

31st Dec, 2016 | 8:21am

Carragher: This is only Liverpool attacker who would have got in Rodgers and Benitez sides

By Alex Stevens

Jamie Carragher has claimed that Philippe Coutinho is the only Liverpool attacker who would have got in the last two teams from the club who mounted title challenges.

Rafael Benitez’s 2008-09 side and Brendan Rodgers’ 2013-14 collective both came close to end the Merseyside giants’ title wait only to fall short and finish in second place.

Jurgen Klopp’s 2016-17 team have amassed more points (40) after 18 matches of the Premier League campaign than Benitez’s team (39) or Rodgers’ side (36) to give hope among supporters that they can finally end the wait for the holy grail.

Carragher is convinced that Klopp is the star of the current vintage, even though he spoke warmly of the contributions made by the likes of Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino.

By contrast, the 08-09 team was spearheaded by Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Xabi Alonso, while the 13-14 had the electrifying presence of Luis Suarez as well as Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge in top form.

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“I’ve been trying to work out how many of Klopp’s first choice would get into a combined side of the last two that pursued Anfield’s holy grail and the only one I could see being a definite is Philippe Coutinho, to play from the left,” wrote Carragher in the Mail.

Coutinho is currently sidelined with an ankle injury and will not play against Manchester City in Saturday’s evening eagerly anticipated showdown.

But Mane, Lallana and Firmino are all in line to start as Klopp’s team aim to build on a run of three consecutive wins.

Liverpool are aiming to claw back the six-point advantage of leaders Chelsea, who have remarkably won 12 consecutive top flight games.

In other Liverpool news, a Guardian report has named the three players Klopp will sign in the January window.