Collymore: This is why Liverpool will outperform Chelsea in the Champions League
By Aramide Oladipo
Stan Collymore is confident that Liverpool will perform better than domestic rivals Chelsea in the Champions League and claimed that the Reds possess an “X Factor that Chelsea just don’t have”.
After defeating Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim in the qualifying round, the Merseyside club are set to compete in the group stages of the elite European club competition for the first time since the 2014-15 campaign.
Under former manager Brendan Rodgers, the Reds failed to progress past the group that season and had to settle for a place in the Europa League.
Chelsea have been regulars in the Champions League compared to their Premier League rivals but they were not involved in the competition last season after finishing in 10th place during the 2015-16 campaign.
Writing in his column for the Mirror, Collymore is adamant that the current Premier League champions will struggle in Europe this season and rivals Liverpool and Manchester United are better equipped for the knockout rounds.
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“I don’t even think they’ll go as far as Manchester United or, by a fag paper, Liverpool in this season’s competition,” he wrote.
“That might sound a bit barmy, given the fact Liverpool have dipped in and out of the top four in recent years and haven’t had too much Champions League action of late.
“But, having played for them in Europe, I know how they approach these matches and how their pedigree on the continent means they can relax into the competition.
“There’s an expectation, but it’s kind of a nice expectation because it’s seen as your tournament.
“Both sides have players with an X Factor that Chelsea just don’t have.”
Liverpool have enjoyed greater success than the Blues in the competition, winning the European Cup five times compared to Chelsea’s sole triumph which came in the 2011-12 season.
The Reds begin their Champions League campaign with a home match against La Liga side Sevilla whereas the West London club welcome Azerbaijan outfit Qarabag to Stamford Bridge in midweek.
In other Liverpool news, Euro giants plot January swoop for Liverpool first teamer.