Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes the influence of the Anfield crowd can give his side a huge advantage in this season’s Champions League.
The Reds return to Europe’s elite club competition for the first time since the 2009-10 edition on Tuesday night when they face Ludogorets Razgrad in a game they are the 1.19 favourites to win, with the draw 7.10 and the Bulgarians at 14.53.
Manager Brendan Rodgers will be hoping the clash will give his side a comfortable start to their campaign before taking on both holders Real Madrid and Swiss side Basel later on in Group B.
Over the years Liverpool have been England’s most successful club in Europe, winning five European Cups with one of the keys behind many of their successes being the support they get from the stands which can often intimidate opposing players.
The Reds go into the tournament as relative outsiders at 26.00 to win it outright, but Gerrard believes the lift they can receive from the Anfield crowd will only help boost their progress in the competition, especially when it comes to the knockout rounds.
“We understand that we are not the favourites. There are some big hitters that people will be tipping to win,” the skipper told the Daily Mail.
“But the message from me, as captain of this team, is that we are not making up the numbers. No way.
“We have got such a big advantage over two legs with Anfield that other teams haven’t got. You come to Anfield and you’re getting a terribly hard 90 minutes. And we are going to make it even harder for you.”