Fancy being in with a shot of sharing a share of £25,000 just by declaring your love for all things Liverpool?
RedsBet’s World Cup first-round Fantasy game puts you in charge of selecting your best 11 plus subs for the tournament with a £100million transfer budget.
But before you go loading your team up with Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann, our friends at Football Whispers have identified a squad comprising solely of past and present Liverpool players, with a couple of possible future Reds on the bench as well.
Simon Mignolet (Belgium) – £5m
Mignolet might be second-choice to both Lorus Karius at club level and Thibaut Courtois on the international stage, but he’s a capable back-up if called upon.
If he is, he probably won’t be too troubled in Belgium’s Group G opener against Central American minnows Panama.
Panama only scored a goal per game in qualifying and are rank outsiders at the World Cup, even behind Iceland – the smallest nation ever to reach the finals.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (England) – £4.5m
After a superb season, culminating in a Champions League final appearance, a World Cup is just the next step up in Alexander-Arnold’s career.
While Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker might be ahead of him in the pecking order, the teenager would be a capable replacement if needed.
He made 1.08 open play key passes per 90 minutes in the Premier League last season, the fourth highest rate among the league’s full-backs.
Dejan Lovren (Croatia) – £5.5m
The 28-year-old really matured in 2017/18 and he will need to continue to be a rock in the defence during the World Cup.
This is what he was during qualifying, when Croatia conceded just five goals and made it past Greece in the playoffs.
It’s Nigeria up first for Croatia who will need something from their Group D opener with Argentina to come.
Sebastian Coates (Uruguay) – £5m
A blast from the past – Coates made 24 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions between 2011 and 2014.
Now playing for Sporting in Portugal, Coates played half of Uruguay’s qualifying matches and put in a good showing. His 2.55 interceptions per game was the 15th most of any South American who will be at the World Cup.
With Atletico Madrid’s Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez, Uruguay are clearly well-stocked with defensive talent.
Sadio Mane (Senegal) – £8.5m
A group of Japan, Colombia, and Poland looks like one where Senegal could rack up a few goals and potentially progress to the knock-out rounds.
Although Mane only scored one goal in his appearances during qualifying, he set up three and took just over five touches in the opposition box per 90 minutes.
The attacking midfielder knows how to perform on the big stage – he scored four goals in his last five games in the Champions League – and the African nation will needa good start against heavily fancied Poland in their Group H opener.
Jordan Henderson (England) – £5.5m
Henderson is one of England’s key central midfielders, and his influence cannot be underestimated.
He made the sixth most accurate passes per 90of any European attending the World Cup this summer, behind Toni Kroos and four Spaniards (Thiago Alcantara, Andres Iniesta, Koke, and Isco).
The Liverpool captain also popped up with three assists during qualifying, so it’s not as if he’s too far removed from the goal-scoring action in the Three Lions’ first game against Tunisia.
Marko Grujic (Serbia) – £5.5m
The young Serbian spent the second half of the season on loan at Cardiff City, where he made 13 appearances on the Welsh club’s run to promotion.
He was a powerful presence in the air, winning nearly six aerial duels per 90 minutes, as well as making 4.3 tackles and interceptions per 90.
Grujic’s strength in the air could be a threat from set-pieces while his defensive capabilities could come in handy against Costa Rica in the opening round of group fixtures.
Philippe Coutinho (Brazil) – £9m
After leaving the Reds in January, Coutinho went on to score eight and set up five for Barcelona in just 18 league appearances. That’s to add to his seven goals and six assists in 14 Premier League appearances for Liverpool in 2017/18
Brazil have a wealth of attacking talents and Coutinho is certainly one of them, and his dead-ball ability could be particularly appreciated if the 2014 hosts come up against a Switzerland side intent on spending the whole game defending.
Raheem Sterling (England) – £9m
After getting his break at Liverpool, it took time for Sterling to find his feet at Manchester City, but 2017/18 seems like the year he finally found them.
He scored 18 and set up 11, putting him third in the league for overall goal contribution in the Premier League.
His ability to both score and create opportunities for team-mates could make him a serious threat for England at the World Cup and Tunisia will have to stop Sterling to have any chance of a result.
Mohamed Salah (Egypt) – £9.5m
Thankfully, it looks as though Salah will be fit for the World Cup after the worrying injury caused by Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final.
His achievements for Liverpool – a record-breaking 32 goals in the league – are well-known, but his influence for his country is also unsurprisingly large.
It took Egypt five of six games to qualify for Russia, and in those five they scored seven goals. Five were scored by Salah, and he set the other two up. No wonder Egypt were praying on his recovery for their opener against Group A favourites Uruguay.
Roberto Firmino (Brazil) – £8.5m
While Firmino might not be at the top of Brazil’s attacking depth sheet, maybe they should be taking more notice of him.
As well as scoring 15 and setting up seven in the Premier League – a good return when alongside someone as proficient as Salah – he was on fire in the Champions League.
On the biggest stage in club football, the Brazilian scored ten and got seven assists, all in just 13 appearances. It certainly wouldn’t be surprising to see him amongst the goals against Switzerland.
Pepe Reina (Spain) – £5m
The former Liverpool man has found enough of a new lease of life at Napoli to make the Spain squad at 35 years of age.
Jerome Boateng (Germany) – £5.5m
Boateng is one of the names rumoured as a Liverpool transfer target. Germany only conceded four goals in qualifying.
Benjamin Pavard (France) – £5m
The 22-year-old centre-back has also been linked with Liverpool and he played every minute of Stuttgart’s Bundesliga campaign in 2017/18.
Luis Suarez (Uruguay) – £10.5m
Kept on the bench by the rest of the Liverpool-linked talent – who are less likely to get themselves into trouble – Suarez scored five goals in qualifying.
By Mark Thompson – follow Mark and the rest of the team at Football Whispers on Twitter @FB_Whispers
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by Tom Bodell