Remembering Brendan Rodgers' first-ever Liverpool XI from 2012 ahead of his Anfield return


Liverpool host Leicester in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon in what will be a homecoming for Brendan Rodgers. 

The Northern Irish manager will return to Anfield for the first time since leaving back in October 2015, when he was replaced by Jurgen Klopp. 

The Foxes boss brings with him a very exciting team too and should the visitors pull of a shock against the league leaders, they will move up to second. 

But that will be some challenge. Klopp has built a world-class squad at Liverpool - one that is a far cry from the group of players that Rodgers had at his disposal back in 2012 when he first arrived.

Back then, the Reds were coming off the back of a dreadful season that saw them needing to negotiate through a Europa League qualifier against Belarusian side FC Gomel.

That was Rodgers' first-ever match as Liverpool boss and the starting XI he picked was quite something. Check it out:

Brad Jones 
Glen Johnson
Jamie Carragher
Martin Skrtel 
Jose Enrique 
Stewart Downing
Jay Spearing
Steven Gerrard
Jordan Henderson
Joe Cole
Fabio Borini

That certainly can't be considered as one of Liverpool's strongest ever teams. 

Borini led the line in Rodgers' first game

They even struggled in the fixture against Gomel, winning just 1-0 thanks to a goal from Downing. 

Looking at it, Klopp will probably be happy he never had to pick a team with the likes of Spearing and Johnson.

In fact, the German has upgrades in almost every single position. 

Klopp has a much better team now

Liverpool's number one is now Alisson, while the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson have strengthened the defence. 

In midfield, Henderson now plays alongside Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum, while Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino form the best front three in Europe. 

Talk about an upgrade. Rodgers' return to Liverpool on Saturday should make a nice subplot to a surprise top of the table clash.  

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