This is the view of Joe Donnohue from Scouted Football, a website about young players and clubs, who gave an insight into what FC Midtjylland has to offer on the blood-red podcast.
Liverpool will meet a team that in some respects resembles the Red Bull Salzburg team that they defeated last season in the Champions League in an entertaining way at home and away – before signing Takumi Minamino from the Austrian Bundesliga team weeks later.
Liverpool will meet FC Midtjylland in Anfield tonight in the Champions League, and we received the information about the Danish team before kick-off.
“They are very eager to develop and in 2004 they founded their own academy, which is essentially the ‘Danish Clairefontaine’ [the famous academy in France that produced Thierry Henry and Kylian Mbappe].
He explained: “They are a really interesting club, because they are only 21 years old, they came out of two local clubs, and then they moved up in the leagues, and they are Danish champions.
The Danish team, however, has a lower caliber of players and certainly no one as good as Erling Haaland, Takumi Minamino or Hee-Chan Hwang in their ranks, three players the Reds played against 12 months ago, but who have since been sold off by Salzburg.
“The best young Danish players train in Midtjylland and can integrate them into the first team. They have a very young team, but they don’t have much experience against elite teams like Liverpool.
Red Bull Salzburg, against whom Liverpool played in the group stage last season and against whom they met again this summer during their pre-season trip to Austria, is a team that is comparable to Midtjylland in style and philosophy.
Donnohue added: “They will make a good football match, even if Liverpool should knock them out, because Midtjylland will try to play football. They have a lot of players who are a bit defensively naive.
“There are parallels to Salzburg from last season, but Salzburg was on a higher level than Midtjylland is currently in terms of experience.
“It was very beneficial to rely on data and analysis, and they are owned by Brentford’s owner, Matthew Benham. It’s much cheaper to buy and much higher to sell – that’s the model they have been committed to and have been very successful with for a decade or 15 years”.
“They are another side of Thomas Gronnemark, Liverpool’s throw-in coach, and they are a ‘one percent coach’ – they will do anything that gives them an advantage.
Pione Sisto, formerly of Celta Vigo in Spain, is a player from the Midtyllands who is worth keeping an eye on. The direct and fast dribbler was tipped by Donnohue to impress.
Midfielders Frank Onyeka and Evander are also likely to see some action against players like Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum or whoever else will be playing for the hosts in the middle of the field.