Liverpool have a clear advantage over their Champions League rivals and the World Cup squads confirm it. The Reds must take this.

The World Cup creates a big problem for most major teams this season. Their best players have just had half a season of football and now go off to play the most intense tournament in the game.

Usually, players then get a nice long rest after the World Cup. They return at the start of the following season, knowing they have months to buildup their fitness before the make-or-break games comes around.

That’s not the case this year. Players will return from Qatar and head straight into more intense football, without much of a break at all. Instead of having a month off before early-season games, they’ll have to keep playing and face Champions League knockout-ties before they know it.

Exhaustion will happen. Many of the world’s best players will struggle to cope with all of this and clubs must manage their fitness like never before.

However, those without players at the tournament get the opposite. They get over a month off – a mid-season break to get 100 per cent fit for the gruelling final stretch of the season.

So with that in mind, Liverpool boast a clear advantage in the Champions League.

World Cup squads favour Liverpool

We wish we could say ‘and Premier League’ but the Reds face a fight just into the top four discussions. The Champions League, though, can be where Liverpool shine.

The Reds will be one of the favourites, of course. They were finalists last year and won it in 2019. They’ll play Real Madrid in the Last 16 and that’s where their advantage comes into play.

Liverpool, after all, have remarkably few players at this tournament. Alisson Becker, Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konaté, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Darwin Nunez. That’s it. In fact, their team of players not going is extraordinary and features many of their best players.

Compare that to Real Madrid. Karim Benzema, Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni, Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, Eder Militao, Luka Modric, Antonio Rudiger, Marco Asensio, Dani Carvajal, and Fede Valverde.

Real Madrid v Celtic - UEFA Champions League
Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

It’s essentially their entire squad. Toni Kroos and David Alaba get some rest, their teammates are all facing exhaustion.

And Real aren’t alone in that. Bayern Munich have more players than anyone at this tournament, with 17. Manchester City have 16.

Liverpool will have a much more-rested squad post-World Cup. That’s undeniable and it’s an advantage that should rear its head come the final few months of the season.

And that might be exactly what they need to go all the way in Europe this time.