A former Red has shared his positive outlook on the second half of the season after the draw for the knockout stages in Europe’s elite competition
Liverpool have re-emerged as an elite force under Jurgen Klopp’s stewardship in recent years, with European Cup success in 2018-2019 followed up by a first top-flight triumph in 30 years last season.
The Reds have started their latest campaign in strong fashion too, rising to second in the Premier League standings while also booking their place in the Champions League knockout stages once again.
Klopp’s men will return to the domestic summit if they beat current leaders Tottenham at Anfield on Wednesday, with only goal difference separating the two teams after 12 fixtures.
Liverpool can also now look forward to a round-of-16 tie against RB Leipzig in Europe’s elite competition in February, and McManaman is optimistic about his old club’s chances of increasing their silverware haul.
«It’s possible, but we all know it’s so difficult to do that.
“When you are playing for the big clubs, your remit is to win the Premier League or the Champions League.
“Liverpool have done that over the last couple of years. But the biggest clubs and the best teams kick on from success like that and do it again and again.»
The ex-England international did, however, admit that much will depend on whether or not Liverpool can avoid losing any more key personnel amid an injury crisis which has seen the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Diogo Jota sidelined until the new year.
“A lot of what happens next to Liverpool depends on whether they get any more injuries,” McManaman added.
“However well they have done to plug the holes that have been exposed in their team this season, they can’t take on board too many more injuries.
“To have lost some key players and because they are that good, they have managed to find a way to win matches. That’s even without Alisson, Van Dijk, Henderson, Thiago, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah on different occasions.
“Can they keep winning matches if they are without some of those players and a few more injuries are added on top? Possibly not because there is a point where a cumulation of injuries is too much for any team.
“There is no doubt that Liverpool are there to be shot at this year. They are not winning games every week and they have shown some signs of vulnerability, which we didn’t see last season.”