By 90Min
October 31, 2019

Liverpool are, and I think I can say this without any accusations of bias, a pretty good football team these days.

As you may already be aware, they are the current European champions and lead the Premier League table at time of writing. Ahead of the Ballon d'Or ceremony in December, the Reds also lead the list of nominations for the men's award with seven players in contention for football's top gong for individualism.

It hasn't always been like this though. Pre-Klopp there were some dark times.

So, this Halloween, hold your loved ones close as we go digging up things that are probably better left buried...

Here are five of Liverpool's most terrifying team sheets of recent years. You have been warned.


vs Rabotnički (July 2010)

STR/GettyImages

Lineup: Diego Cavalieri; Martin Skrtel, Martin Kelly, Daniel Agger, Sotirios Kyrgiakos; David Amoo, Milan Jovanovic, Lucas Leiva, Alberto Aquilani, Jay Spearing; David Ngog

Subs: Stephen Darby, Lauri Dalla Valle, Nathan Eccleston

Roy Hodgson's Liverpool tenure started in the salubrious setting of an away trip to Macedonia for the Europa League third-round qualifier against Rabotnicki Skopje.

The Reds got Hodgson off to a winning start - one of 13 wins he'd managing before being sacked - thanks to an Ngog brace.

The teamsheet, however, was an ominous portent of things to come...

Skrtel at right back? Spearing, Jovanovic and Aquilani? David Amoo??? Chilling.


vs Napoli (October 2010)

Hamish Blair/GettyImages

Lineup: Pepe Reina; Martin Kelly, Paul Konchesky, Jamie Carragher, Martin Skrtel; Ryan Babel, Milan Jovanovic, Jonjo Shelvey, Jay Spearing, Christian Poulsen; David Ngog.

Subs: Fabio Aurelio, Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Joe Cole

Liverpool have quite the recent European history against Napoli, having faced the Italians in both of the last two Champions League group stages.

A Mohamed Salah goal and Alisson save saw the Reds through at Napoli's expense last year but, y'know what, things might have been even smoother had they stuck with the Class of 2010.

Hodgson, feet firmly under the desk now, saw off Gli Azzurri in the Europa League group stage 3-1 at Anfield, thanks to a second-half Stevie G hat-trick.

The away fixture though was grim. Paul Konchesky, Christian Poulsen and big Jonjo Shelvey all featured from the start, while the ghost of Joe Cole even came on off the bench.

Amazingly that game, against a side featuring Edinson Cavani and Marek Hamsik, finished 0-0.


vs Utrecht (December 2010)

PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Lineup: Brad Jones; Martin Kelly, Fabio Aurelio, Martin Skrtel, Danny Wilson; Milan Jovanovic, Joe Cole, Christian Poulsen, Jonjo Shelvey; Ryan Babel, Nathan Eccleston.

Subs: Dani Pacheco, Dirk Kuyt, Sotirios Kyrgiakos

I promise we'll move on from the Hodgson era in a minute but first, just look at this. Look at it.

Read those names, look at those faces. Look in Aurelio's eyes and you can faintly hear Simon & Garfunkel's Sound of Silence ring out.

To be fair, this zombie corpse of a Liverpool team had already qualified for the next round and they gave out free kids tickets...although that seems more of a trick than a treat given the lineup.

The score? 0-0.

28-year-old Eccleston plays for Nuneaton Borough these days, Danny Wilson is at Colorado Rapids and Dani Pacheco turns out for second-tier Malaga.


vs Real Madrid (November 2014)

JAVIER SORIANO/GettyImages

Lineup: Simon Mignolet; Javier Manquillo, Alberto Moreno, Kolo Toure, Martin Skrtel; Emre Can, Joe Allen, Lucas Leiva; Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana, Fabio Borini.

Subs: Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho

The kit alone is enough to provoke nightmares. 

Amazingly, Liverpool only lost this Champions League group-stage tie 1-0 to eventual European champions Real Madrid, putting in a surprisingly spirited performance at the Santiago Bernabeu against vastly superior opposition.

Brendan Rodgers' side had gone from chilled-out entertainers at the back end of 2013/14 to little slugs a few months later following the departure of Luis Suarez, whose brilliance papered many a crack.

This lineup featured many of the last of Liverpool's 'banter era' with (shudder) Markovic, Borini, Moreno and Manquillo all getting run outs. Now that's some real paranormal activity.


vs Exeter (January 2016)

Dan Mullan/GettyImages

Lineup: Adam Bogdan; Connor Randall, Brad Smith, Tiago Ilori, Jose Enrique; Ryan Kent, Jose Teixeria, Cameron Brannagan, Kevin Stewart; Christian Benteke, Jerome Sinclair.

Subs: Sheyi Ojo, Joe Maguire, Pedro Chirivella

Probably the worst lineup of the Klopp era, Jurgen - admittedly beset by an injury crisis - showed his indifference for the domestic cups early on with his first ever FA Cup lineup.

Liverpool, featuring a host of truly mediocre youngsters, battled back to a 2-2 draw at League Two Exeter before winning the replay at home. 

Where are they now you ask? Well, Sinclair is at VV-Venlo, Brannagan is at Oxford and Bogdan, aged just 32, is unattached. Pedro Chirivella is still hanging about causing EFL Cup controversy, of course.

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