Gerrard could find his range against Bulgarian minnows.
Ten years on from that historic triumph in Istanbul, the Reds embark on another odyssey at the top table of European Football.
Conversely, Ludogorets are entering uncharted waters in the group stages of the Champions League. This is only their second year in the competition and their third in Europe in total so the Bulgarian champions will be out to enjoy the experience.
Defender Cosmin Moti was their very unlikely hero in the second leg of their second qualifying round tie with Romania’s Steaua Bucharest. He had to take over the goalkeeping gloves in extra time after regular shot-stopper Vladislav Stoyanov was sent off.
As Ludogorets had already used their three substitutes, they couldn’t bring on their reserve keeper but Moti made two saves in the ensuing penalty shoot-out, sending his team through in heroic circumstances.
Stoyanov is suspended for his team’s trip to Anfield to face Liverpool but Ivan Cvorovic will be presumably come in, allowing Romanian international Moti to return to his more customary position in the back four of Georgi Dermendzhiev’s side.
The Eagles of Razgrad are very much the underdogs in Group B. They are only the second team from Bulgaria to reach the group stages of the Champions League – Levski Sofia were the first – and their tiny ground only holds 8,000 fans.
It might have crossed their collective minds that Anfield has been a graveyard for lesser-ranked teams in Europe in the past. Stromgodset of Norway conceded 11 in 1974, Besiktas were hit for nine in 2007 while Oulu Palloseura lost 10-1 on Merseyside in 1980 and another seven the following year.
European nights at Anfield are special and the Kop has been starved of the experience in recent years but they’ll want their team to show more than they did against Aston Villa on Saturday, when they never really looked like recovering from a slow start and lost out to a goal from Gabby Agbonlahor.
England’s Raheem Sterling has been their best player so far this season but Brendan Rodgers decided to rest him against Villa and the move backfired. The Reds are still without Daniel Sturridge and unusually shaky at the back so Ludogorets may escape a thrashing.
But Liverpool will surely have too much experience for the Bulgarians, though are priced accordingly in the 3-way match betting at 1/5. Steven Gerrard has a fantastic scoring record in Europe and the skipper looks overpriced at 8/5 to be an anytime scorer.
The match kicks off at 7.45pm on Tuesday, September 16th at Anfield.