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Liverpool Composite XI: how do the 2005 and 2018 sides match up?

 

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Liverpool's class of 2018 has been impressive, but are they better than their 2005 counterparts?

Liverpool's class of 2018 has been impressive, but are they better than their 2005 counterparts?

Liverpool's class of 2018 has been impressive, but are they better than their 2005 counterparts?

Liverpool face Real Madrid in the Champions League final on Saturday looking to emulate the Reds side that famously triumphed in 2005.

Here, we look at how a combined XI made up of players from both sides could look ahead of the final.

Goalkeeper: Jerzy Dudek (2005)

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Jerzy Dudek saves Andriy Shevchenko's penalty

Jerzy Dudek saves Andriy Shevchenko's penalty

Jerzy Dudek saves Andriy Shevchenko's penalty
 

Liverpool have had problems in goal this season and, although Loris Karius has improved since taking over from Simon Mignolet permanently in January, Istanbul penalty shoot-out hero Dudek gets the nod as keeper.

Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold (2018)

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Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold has had an impressive campaign

Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold has had an impressive campaign

PA Wire/PA Images

Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold has had an impressive campaign
 

The 19-year-old has excelled in recent months, playing a key role in Liverpool’s run to the final with mature performances in the knockout ties against Manchester City and Roma. The 2005 team had the dependable Steve Finnan but Alexander-Arnold, who has earned an England World Cup call, is the exciting option.

Centre-back: Sami Hyypia (2005)

Sami Hyypia
 

The Finn was a commanding presence in Liverpool’s defence for many years. Virgil van Dijk has brought renewed confidence and strength to the current back line but his Liverpool career is still in its infancy. Hyypia’s consistency over a decade earns him his spot.

Centre-back: Jamie Carragher (2005)

Jamie Carragher
 

Along with Steven Gerrard, Carragher provided the heartbeat of the 2005 side as well as its backbone. His excellence and commitment over a career spent entirely with the Merseysiders makes him an obvious choice.

Left-back: Andy Robertson (2018)

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Andy Robertson has made a big impression since joining Liverpool last summer

Andy Robertson has made a big impression since joining Liverpool last summer

Andy Robertson has made a big impression since joining Liverpool last summer
 

The Scot has proved a surprise hit at Anfield since breaking into the team in the second half of the season, solving a long-running left-back problem. John Arne Riise was consistent in the position back in 2005, but he actually played left wing in Istanbul while Djimi Traore was at left-back, so Robertson plays.

Midfield: Dietmar Hamann (2005)

Dietmar Hamann
 

Germany international Hamann was only on the bench in Istanbul but his introduction in a half-time reshuffle helped spark Liverpool’s fightback. Current captain Jordan Henderson is unlucky not to make the team but Hamann has the edge.

Midfield: Steven Gerrard (2005)

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Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard

PA Archive/PA Images

Steven Gerrard
 

Gerrard was the chief inspiration as Liverpool fought back from 3-0 down 13 years ago, scoring the Reds’ first and winning the penalty that led to their equaliser. His dominance of midfield and the way he galvanised his team-mates makes him an obvious selection.

Midfield: Xabi Alonso (2005)

Xabi Alonso
 

The Spaniard was also a world-class performer, capable of dictating the pace of games against the best of sides with his superb passing ability. He dovetailed superbly with Gerrard and it makes sense to pair them together again.

Forward: Mohamed Salah (2018)

Mohamed Salah
 

The front line is dominated by the current crop and rightly so after an outstanding campaign. Salah has led the way by scoring 44 goals in all competitions, the most by a Liverpool player in a single season since Ian Rush hit a club record 47 in 1983-84.

Forward: Roberto Firmino (2018)

Roberto Firmino
 

The Brazilian has also been brilliant throughout the season, scoring 27 goals and laying on 16 assists. He plays in the centre of the forward three and has had a far greater impact than Milan Baros, who started as centre forward in 2005.

Forward: Sadio Mane (2018)

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Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane

EMPICS Sport

Sadio Mane
 

Mane may have been the junior partner in the front line this season but his statistics are still impressive having scored 19 goals this season. He also works well with Salah and Firmino and his pace is a constant threat for defenders.

Final tally

2005: 6

2018: 5

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Irish Independent