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Remember Ryan Babel? The Dutch striker who was at Liverpool for four uneventful years from 2007-11 and is currently at Besiktas is hoping for a reunion with his former club.

As we get ready for the knockout stages of the Champions League, there is a potential chance of Besiktas drawing Liverpool in the last-16 clash. The Turkish side is one of the eight teams left in the Champions League, and are yet to lose a match.

That unbeaten list also includes Liverpool, who currently top Group ‘E’ with 8 points. For Besiktas, the tally is 10 points and a top spot in Group ‘G’ following their 1-1 draw against AS Monaco.

Although they are not yet guaranteed of a knockout spot, there is a very high probability of Besiktas reaching the next round. Let us just say this – it would be a surprise if they don’t make it to the knockouts.

The Dutch striker wants to meet his old team in the last-16 as he feels it would be extra special to play at his old stomping ground.

“I want Liverpool in the next round,” Babel said speaking to CNN (h/t Turkish-football.com). I am not really bothered who we draw but Liverpool would be really special. It would be a really special game for me, but we are ready to take on anyone.”

Turkish opponents are always tricky to face. The intimidating atmosphere players encounter in Turkey plays a major role in the games’ outcome. That is one of the reasons English sides have a less than favourable record against Turkish opponents.

Liverpool have faced Besiktas 4 times in European competitions before and have recorded two wins – once in the Champions League and once in the Europa League. The Black Eagles will have fond memories of knocking the Reds out of the Europa League round of 32 in 2015. Babel wants a similar experience of playing Liverpool and knocking them out.

The Reds are currently on top of their group but with 8 points, we are not yet guaranteed of progress. Sevilla are on 7 points and Spartak Moscow have 5, which means the race to the next round is still wide open.

That means there is a strong possibility that the Reds could finish 2nd in the group and qualify for the next round. On the other hand, Besiktas could finish top of their group even if they lose their next two games – theoretically.

Will Babel get his wish?

https://youtu.be/O7VNH5EVkDc

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Calm down about Salah and Mane, they have to be selfish and were last season too: Food for thought

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Liverpool were exceptional in the 2-1 win over Tottenham but we should have battered them by five or six goals at least.

One of the major talking points from the game, however, was the lack of understanding between Liverpool’s forwards as fans blamed Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane for not passing the ball enough.

Liverpool were almost made to pay with Mane nearly conceding a penalty and throwing away our hard work.

I have seen fans go at each other, blaming the two, but truth be told, we need them to be selfish in front of the goal.

The best strikers take the shots

Continuously passing the ball around for another to finish will make us the old Arsenal. Strikers have to be lethal and that was what our players were last season.

Salah and Mane were selfish last season as well, the only difference was that things were going right for the pair.

The Egyptian broke the Premier League’s scoring record and some of his goals were incredible.

The ones against Everton and Tottenham at home stands out. But if the former Roma man kept the ball a little too long and didn’t find the target, a number of us would have cribbed about the chance going begging.

Similarly, Mane also had a few instances where he either kept the ball a little too long or had a pop at the goal. The game against Manchester City in the Champions League is a prime example of the Senegal man keeping the ball to himself and having a blast at the target.

Jurgen Klopp looked a little bemused as to why some of the players didn’t pick the right decision at Wembley but we did come out with all three points.

Had one or two chances gone in, no one would have complained and we would have instead been talking about something else.

Salah, Firmino and Mane are an incredible trio and even if they are not firing on all cylinders, it must be noted the trio has scored eight times in just five games this season.

They might not have the same scoring prowess as last season but we are perfect in five games and if we can get the goals to flow in, there won’t be any complaints.

The manager has worked wonders for the side since taking over in 2015 and his biggest challenge was making our defence tight.

We have only conceded two goals from five games this season, which is a far cry from the leaky back line we had. Thus, I am sure Klopp will have a stern word with Mane and Salah before our next game against Paris Saint-Germain.

Read more: Stats prove this 32-year-old Red was the king of Wembley against Tottenham

In the Champions League last season, the trio looked their menacing best and what better way to showcase team spirit than by battering the French side and spreading the ball around for everyone to score.

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“They are up there with Liverpool’s front three” – Premier League goalie makes startling claim about teammates

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Asmir Begovic

Bournemouth keeper Asmir Begovic has claimed that their front three are as good as ours after the Cherries defeated Leicester City 4-2.

Josh King, Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson have scored eight goals between them this season, the same amount as Liverpool trio Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

The former Chelsea keeper believes the trio are the best in the Premier League and was quoted by Liverpool Echo saying:

“Our front three are as good as anyone in the league.

“We are a very attacking team, we want to attack and score goals.

“They are up there with Liverpool’s front three when they are on form. The way we play suits them. They have a great understanding and long may it continue.”

Liverpool Echo compared last season’s performances between the trios and in that respect, we certainly outscored Bournemouth easily.

Liverpool’s front three notched up 91 goals in all competitions while Bournemouth’s trio managed just 24 goals the last term.

The Cherries have made a flying start to the campaign and have 10 points from five games. Eddie Howe’s team sit fifth in the league standings but Begovic needs to have a look at the stats from last season too.

Read more: Liverpool star shares positive update after horrific injury during Tottenham game

Salah, Firmino and Mane have been fantastic for the club and could set more records this season. Not downplaying the Bournemouth trio’s achievements but if we were to select a front three for a must-win game, it would be the Liverpool players any day.

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“Yeah, people say he goes down to easily” – Liverpool star speaks out about Neymar ahead of Champions League clash

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Andrew Robertson

Liverpool face Paris Saint-Germain in the first game of their Champions League group and Andy Robertson is aware of the threat posed by Brazilian star Neymar.

The former Barcelona man is one of the best footballers on the planet but he is also known for his theatrics on the pitch.

Speaking before the game, our left-back wasn’t going to get involved in a debate about diving. The Scot, however, was quoted by the Daily Star saying:

“His skills speak for themselves.

“Yeah, people say he goes down to easily, but that’s not up to us.

“It’s up to the referee to decide. We’ll stay away from that.

“For us, we’ve got to concentrate on the qualities.”

Robertson further claimed that both sides have quality players and added that we have to be wary of PSG’s other stars.

Andrew Robertson

Well, the Scot has not said anything wrong about Neymar and his abilities. That said, we don’t need to worry about his performance and concentrate on ours instead.

Liverpool were magnificent in the Champions League last season but we have a tough group this time.

Napoli will also be tough opponents but we need to start the campaign in the best way possible – hopefully, with a win.

Read more: Liverpool need to deal with selfishness from two stars this season

Anfield will be charged up to face the French side visiting us on Tuesday and Robertson must be at his best to silence Kylian Mbappe and Neymar on the pitch.

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