Liverpool already have inside information on Champions League opponents

Liverpool could possess an ace in the hole already ahead of the Champions League group stages.

The Reds discovered their fate for the 2020/21 campaign as they were drawn in Group D alongside Dutch giants Ajax, last season's Italian quarter-finalists Atalanta, and Danish minnows FC Midtjylland.

While Jurgen Klopp will no doubt expect his club to progress to the knockout phase based on that draw, the Reds will naturally prepare as diligently as ever.

It is likely Liverpool's backroom team are already somewhat aware of the qualities and threats Ajax and Atalanta possess, but FC Midtjylland are more of an unknown quantity.

However, Liverpool do have the bonus of having throw-in coach Thomas Gronnemark in their ranks – who has also been employed by Midtjylland in the past.

The freelancer also works with Ajax as well, giving Liverpool an idea of some of the tactics their future opponents might utilise.

While Gronnemark's professionalism might stop him giving insider tips to Klopp, the Dane's methods should mean Liverpool's players are prepared for what's to come.

Of course, it would also suggest Ajax and Midtjylland are suitably prepared to deal with Liverpool's approach from throw-ins.

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Speaking to Sky Sports back in January, Gronnemark said: "A lot of people think that my work is just about long throw-ins. Of course it is about long throw-ins. I can coach that too.

"FC Midtjylland scored 35 goals in four seasons that way. You can do that if you have the right team.

"With Liverpool and Ajax, the long throw-ins are not their style so I am also focusing on the fast and clever throw-ins that I first started working on in around 2007. That is all about possession.

"How can we keep possession when we are taking a throw-in under pressure? How can we create chances and score goals from those throw-in situations?"

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Gronnemark admitted he was coaching eight teams across the world this year, but mostly his work would be with Ajax and Liverpool.

Whether any of the sides change their approach due to his influence in each camp now remains to be seen.

Midtjylland won the Danish Superliga last season by a 14-point margin – similar to Liverpool's 18-point gap in the Premier League.

Ajax meanwhile were joint top when the Eredivisie season was curtailed due to coronavirus, thus meaning they missed out on the title, but are leading the table so far this season with three wins from three.

Serie A outsiders Atalanta also boast a 100 per cent record thus far, and were third in the table last season, just five points off winners Juventus.

Liverpool begin the first round of their Champions League group stage fixtures on October 20/21.

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