Jürgen Klopp may be the red-hot favourite to replace Brendan Rodgers in the Anfield hotseat, but the Football Manager experts reckon that's the wrong move for Liverpool to return to former glory.
The guys at legendary footy computer game Football Manager have simulated the rest of the season with six different managers in charge - and the one that outperforms the rest is former Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti.
The stats reveal that the Italian - who has seemingly ruled himself out of returning to management this season - would actually take the club back into the Champions League with a 4th placed finish in the Premier League. Not only that, but the club would reach the FA Cup final and the semi-finals of the League Cup - almost certainly aided by the fact that they exit the Europa League in the first round.
Perhaps justifying the decision by the Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group and their principal owner John W Henry to sack Rodgers this early in the season, all five of the prospective managers take Liverpool up the table to at least 7th place - they currently lie 10th.
Klopp manages a sturdy 5th, Zenit Saint Petersburg boss André Villas-Boas and club legend Steven Gerrard (assisted by Jamie Carragher) take the club up to 6th, while Argentinian Marcelo Bielsa and Frank De Boer manage 7th. Gerrard, in particular, is perhaps unexpectedly successful, guiding the Reds to the Europa League final, which they unluckily lose on penalties.
Click on the gallery below to see the full details of each candidate's performance in their Anfield 'trial', it's a fascinating read.
JÜRGEN KLOPP (1/50 FAV)
-Liverpool finish in 5th spot on 67 points, three points off fourth placed Chelsea
-Klopp plays a 4-2-3-1 formation with Benteke preferred as the lone striker with Firmino played as the central attacking midfielder
-Benteke top scores with 16 goals while Coutinho nets 14 times
-Coutinho finishes the season as Liverpool’s best player with an average rating of 7.49
-Klopp makes one January signing, bringing in Besiktas’ Gökhan Tore to bolster his midfield options. Tore earns a 6.78 average rating and scores 2 goals
-Klopp suffers a shock defeat in the fourth round of the FA Cup, losing 2-1 to Fulham
-Liverpool also reach the fifth round of the Capital One Cup where they are beaten by Manchester United
-The team reaches the quarter finals of the Europa League but are knocked out by CSKA Moscow who dropped into the competition from the Champions League
CARLO ANCELOTTI (16/1)
-Liverpool finish in 4th spot on 69 points after pipping Chelsea to the final Champions League qualification spot on the final day
-Ancelotti plays a 4-4-1-1 formation with Coutinho played off the shoulder of Benteke and Firmino out on the left
-Benteke top scores with 18 goals, while Sturridge also finds the net 11 times
-Firmino is Liverpool’s top performer with a 7.36 average rating
-Ancelotti elects not to sign anyone in January with the club sat in 5th place when the window closes
-Ancelotti takes the club to the FA Cup final but they are beaten 3-1 by Arsenal
-They are also knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Chelsea in the semi-finals
-In the Europa League, Ancelotti’s side are beaten by Lazio in the first knockout round
MARCELO BIELSA (50/1)
-Liverpool finish 7th on 58 points after a disappointing run of form towards the end of the season
-Bielsa plays a 4-2-3-1 with the full-backs pushed up to wing back positions and Coutinho on the left with Firmino through the centre
-Coutinho top scores with 11 goals, Benteke gets 10 and Sturridge ends up with 8
-Coutinho is Liverpool’s highest rated player with an average rating of 7.31
-Bielsa makes one January signing, bringing in Nagatomo from Inter to play as wing-back
-Liverpool haemorrhage goals in the last few games of the season as Bielsa’s high tempo, high pressing strategy takes its toll on the squad’s tired legs as they drop from 5th to 7th in the space of three games
-The club are knocked out of the FA Cup in the 5th round after a 3-2 defeat to Swansea
-They are also knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup at the hands of Southampton
-In the Europa League, Liverpool make the semi-finals but are beaten by Roma
ANDRÉ VILLAS-BOAS (40/1)
-Liverpool finish in 6th place, six points outside the Champions League spots
-AVB plays a 4-2-3-1 formation with Benteke as the lone striker, Firmino out on the left and Coutinho through the middle
-Benteke finishes the season as top scorer with 12 goals, pipping Coutinho who finishes on 10 goals
-Coutinho is also Liverpool’s best player with a 7.41 average rating
-AVB doesn’t make a January signing
-Liverpool reach the FA Cup semi-finals but are eliminated from the competition by Spurs
-In the Capital One Cup, AVB takes his team to the final but find themselves on the wrong side of a 3-0 defeat by Man City
-Liverpool also reach the quarter-finals of the Europa League but are knocked out on away goals to Napoli
FRANK DE BOER (33/1)
-Liverpool finish in 7th position, eight points outside of the Champions League places
-De Boer plays a 4-5-1 with Emre Can dropping into defensive midfield with Milner and Henderson preferred in the centre and Firmino played out on the right flank
-Benteke scores 14 times to top Liverpool’s scoring charts
-Coutinho emerges as Liverpool’s best player with an average rating of 7.28
-De Boer brings in Miguel Veloso for £4 million in January to provide an extra option in defensive midfield
-Liverpool reach the Capital One Cup final but are beaten by Chelsea
-De Boer suffers a 3rd round defeat to Watford in the FA Cup
-In the Europa League, De Boer guides his team to the semi-finals where they are beaten by Dortmund
STEVEN GERRARD (WITH JAMIE CARRAGHER AS ASSISTANT MANAGER) (50/1)
-Liverpool finish in 6th position after a rollercoaster season where they reach the heights of 3rd place before dropping down to 8th and then mounting a decent recovery in their final few fixtures
-Gerrard plays a 4-4-1-1 with Coutinho played off the shoulder of Benteke. He elects to give more game time to Jordon Ibe more game time than the other managers.
-Benteke and Sturridge are rotated up front with Benteke netting 11 times and Sturridge 9 times.
-Coutinho is Liverpool’s best performer with an average rating of 7.32
-Gerrard makes one January signing, drafting in Ryan Shawcross to provide some cover in defence
-In the FA Cup, Liverpool reach the semi-finals but are beaten by Manchester City
-They suffer defeat to lower level opposition in the Capital One Cup, going out in the fifth round to Sheffield Wednesday
-Gerrard does manage to guide his side to the Europa League final but tastes the agony of defeat on penalties to Germany’s Schalke 04