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'I'd back Liverpool at home to Barcelona and Real Madrid', says Michael Owen

Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen would back the Reds to beat any side in Europe at home and believes performances at Anfield will determine their Champions League success.

FOOTBALL 13/09/17 13:54
Michael Owen

Michael Owen insists that Liverpool’s success or failure in the Champions League this season will largely be down to their results at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp’s men return to Europe’s top table with a home game against Sevilla tonight – which is live on BT Sport 2 from 7pm.

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The fixture, which is a re-match of the 2016 Europa League final, is also available to live stream on the BT Sport app and on BTSport.com.

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European nights at Anfield are legendary and Owen is better placed than most to know what impact the home support can have on the players.

Only Steven Gerrard can better the former England striker’s record of 22 European goals for the Merseysiders and Owen insists it’s the opening group match is always vital.

“I wouldn’t be backing even Barcelona or Real Madrid in a one-off game at Anfield because it’s a real fortress - especially in Europe the atmosphere is great and the players will feed off that.

“It’s a really important game and to start with a win would set them up very nicely because you’d back them to pick up maximum points at home, and then they might only need one good result away from home.

“It’ll be a good atmosphere because it’s against decent opposition so the fans will definitely be up for it,” said Owen.

Liverpool have reached the Champions League group stage for just the second time in the last ten seasons and the importance of a good showing in the tournament has not been lost on Owen.

The re-worked seeding system has led to several mouth-watering ties between some of Europe’s elite, Barcelona’s clash with Juventus for example, yet Owen is adamant Liverpool will not mind avoiding the glamour ties.

The former Real Madrid forward added: “I think Liverpool, both the club and fans, would be pleased with the draw.

“Having a good game against one of the big European teams can come later in the tournament, it’s just about getting as far as you can.

“No matter what round it is, I think you always want an easy as possible passage. And considering Liverpool were in pot three I think everyone connected with the club will be delighted with the draw.

“I was at the Arsenal game a few weeks ago and it was one of the best performances you’re likely to see. Yes, the Gunners were poor, but how much credit do you give Liverpool and how much do you slam Wenger’s team?

“I thought Liverpool were irresistible on the day and if they can get to that level on a regular basis they’ll be very hard to play against this season and virtually impossible to stop at Anfield.”

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No problem. We’ll be making highlights FREE on BTSport.com and the BT Sport app, while the enhanced video player allows subscribers to watch the full 90 minutes again on either platform.

There will also be several opportunities to watch highlights or a full rerun of the game on our linear coverage – just check our TV Guide for more information.

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