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All Liverpool fans should be supporting PAOK in their Champions League clash with Benfica

Liverpool need PAOK to overcome Benfica in order to avoid being in pot three of the Champions League draw

On current form, Liverpool are one of Europe’s best sides.

Even the staunchest Man United and Everton fans would struggle to disagree with the fact Liverpool are one of Europe’s top eight clubs, if not top 16.

However, if results go against them, Liverpool will be nestling in alongside the Schalke, CSKA Moscow and Lyons of the world in pot three of the Champions League group draw.

Feeling for the hot one

EPA
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Feeling for the hot one

Benfica and PAOK are currently halfway through their Champions League play-off to determine which side will go into the full competition.

Due to seeding rules, a win for Benfica would result in Liverpool being placed in pot three, whereas a victory for PAOK will land Jurgen Klopp’s side in pot two.

The first game, played in Benfica’s Estadio da Luz, ended in a 1-1 draw, with Amr Warda equalising for PAOK after Pizzi’s opener.

Re-watching Loris Karius’ Champions League final performance

Getty - Contributor
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Re-watching Loris Karius’ Champions League final performance

Liverpool fans should be digging out the PAOK flags as pot two is currently stacked with dangerous sides.

Borussia Dortmund, Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Napoli and Roma are five teams Liverpool could be drawn against, as well as the usual elite suspects in pot one.

Just to play devil’s advocate, Liverpool could end up in the same group as Barcelona, Dortmund and Inter Milan.

Quick maths

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Quick maths

So what are the chances of PAOK coming up trumps? Pretty good, you’ll be pleased to hear.

PAOK have won their last 28 games at home, including Champions League victories against Basel and Spartak Moscow last month.

Captain Vieirinha spent seven years at Benfica’s arch-rivals Porto, so has experience of facing the opposition.

The Greek side signed former Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom in the summer transfer window, with the England Under-21 international making his debut in the first leg.

Familiar face

Getty - Contributor
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Familiar face

Warda, the hero of the first meeting, is an international colleague of Mohamed Salah, representing Egypt on 20 occasions.

And Aston Villa fans might faintly remember Spanish defender Jose Angel Crespo after his one Premier League appearance for the club back in October 2015.

What could possibly go wrong?


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