Liverpool to field 2005 Istanbul team in second leg v Real Madrid

Get me Djimi Traore immediately

Liverpool will field the 2005 Champions League winning team in the second leg of their last 16 tie at the Bernabeu against Real Madrid.

Boss Jurgen Klopp, whose squad are 5-2 in arrears after a humbling night at Anfield two weeks ago, has taken one last gamble in a desperate attempt to salvage Liverpool’s season.

Jurgen Klopp

“I’m getting the band back together” he’s understood to have told Anfield executives, “They’re all available on a free transfer and can still do a job I’m certain.

“I’m even bringing Rafa back to do the half-time team talk.”

When we asked if it would be a problem convincing UEFA to allow the reds to take this unprecedented step, a Liverpool insider told us, “I think they owe us one after last year, don’t you?”

It’s been a frantic few days for the gaffer, Paddy Power News understands that Klopp has been scouring Europe in an attempt to track down some of the members of that triumphant 2005 squad, that came back from three goals down at half-time against AC Milan to eventually win on penalties.

“We’ve had our scouting teams running round all over the place trying to get the lads back together,” they explained, “Fortunately, Stevie G had set up a WhatsApp group for that team so most of them stay in regular contact.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MAY 25: Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso of Spain scores the third goal during the European Champions League final between Liverpool and AC Milan on May 25, 2005 at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

“We’ve had a few problems tracking down some however, we discovered Vladimir Smicer is now running a fruit and veg stall at an indoor market on the outskirts of Prague and Igor Biscan now works in telesales at Croatia’s version of the Carphone Warehouse in Zagreb.”

And Klopp has used a famous football movie as motivation for his new-look, but severely ageing side.

“The gaffer has made us watch Escape to Victory ten times in the past few days,” former midfielder Harry Kewell told us,

“If Michael Caine could still do a job at his age against those crack German players, then I don’t see Sami Hyypia having any trouble keeping Vinicius Junior quiet for 90 minutes .

Though preparation for Wednesday night has not been without its problems following the film screening, as Kewell explained.

“It took Klopp ages to convince Jerzy Dudek that he wasn’t going to have to have his arm broken so that Scott Carson could play in goal.”

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