Liverpool favourite John Arne Riise believes the Reds can still win the Champions League despite their Premier League form “because we did the same in 2005”.
The Norwegian left-back spoke exclusively to RadioTimes.com ahead of Liverpool v RB Leipzig live on BT Sport on Wednesday evening.
He was part of Rafa Benitez’s 2005 Champions League-winning team that performed below expectations in the Premier League, but still managed to steal the show on the European stage.
When asked whether Liverpool could still win the Champions League, Riise said: “They can, because we did the same in 2005. We played not as good in the Premier League, fifth, and we won the Champions League.
“I think Champions League is different because it’s home and away – if you lose you’re out, if you win, you go through, more or less. I think that suits Liverpool.
“Nobody likes to play Liverpool; if they have a great day, they beat anybody. It’s easier to have one good game and go through in the Champions League than having six good games in the league and win all of them.
“I think Liverpool will look at this game on Wednesday with a 2-0 lead, it’s a great chance to go into the last eight, get some confidence back and show football that they can still play.
“They can win the Champions League. The way it looks now though, the team they have available, if they play their best football, they can win it.”
The football world is in shock at Liverpool’s recent collapse in form that has led to Jurgen Klopp’s men losing an unprecedented six games in a row at Anfield.
Riise suggested a solution that was used during dips in form during his own time at the club: fun.
He said: “Klopp’s job – and his team around him – is to get that great mood back. Get them laughing, get that team spirit back up again, the confidence, have some fun in training and just let the boys enjoy themselves.
“That’s what we did sometimes when we were tired and too many games and travelling all the time. We just had training sessions where we just had fun and that can change a lot.
“You can see when they lost against Fulham – people on the floor and can’t believe what’s happening.
“The players need to get this out of the system and the game on Wednesday is a relief for them as they can travel away to Budapest, play a great game in the Champions League, go through, come back to the home league and go again.”
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