Porto Incoming: Klopp looks forward to another big Champions League night

Champions League Quarter Final 1st Leg
Tuesday 09 April 2019 - 8:00 pm
Anfield
Liverpool2
0Porto
Show Match Events
⚽️ Keïta5'
17'Soares
⚽️ Firmino26'
61'Felipe
62'↔️ Soares off, Brahimi on
Mane off, Origi on ↔️73'
Firmino off, Sturridge on ↔️80'
Possession %
6535
Total Shots
158
Shots on Target
33
Shots Blocked
8
Offside
32
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Jurgen Klopp has been speaking to the media ahead of tomorrow night's Anfield clash against FC Porto.

The games are coming thick and fast at this crucial stage of the season, and it's a sign of LFC's improvement that a Champions League Quarter Final has crept up on us.  The reds face the Portugese champions over two legs, with the first leg at Anfield.

At stake will be a semi-final meeting against either Barcelona or Man United.

Klopp took the opportunity to re-iterate how pleased he was that Liverpool improved dramatically in the second half against Southampton:

'This team never gives up and that's how it is.  You have to try, try, try and that is what we do in this moment.  We are looking forward to the challenges we are facing in the next couple of weeks.'

Klopp was asked about how the players have developed in European football since his arrival.

'Our development is incredible.  Especially in these (European) tournaments.  The boys grew with the challenges they were facing.  The European ride was brilliant until Basel [the UEFA Cup final v Sevilla] and the European Cup ride was brilliant until Kiev [the European Cup final v Real Madrid.] So lots more positive moments in these competitions than negative.

'We have to face Porto with the same respect (we gave Bayern).  Porto deserved it.  They came through a difficult game v Rome.

Klopp was asked about his general feeling as the games are coming quick and fast.

It's such a good time at the moment.  Even the weather is warmer.  It's spring outside and we're involved in two competitions.  We are not finished.  We want to write a few more things on the [book of the season].'

On Mo Salah's 50th Premier League goal...

'The late Tottenham goal was forced by Mo and that had already helped him.  Mo's big chance at Munich, similar situation and at the last second the defenders come.  He was so close in so many moments and still has 18 or so goal and 7 assists this season - a brilliant number.

'His work-rate was always brilliant, in training and in the game, but it helps if you score that world class goal.  It was not a perfect angle.  There was maybe one second when he could have passed to Bobby's left foot but it was better from Mo's left foot.  It was decisive in that moment for us.'

The Portugese media highlighted that last season's 5-0 defeat by the reds in Portugal really hurt Porto and asked if that makes them more dangerous.

'100% I can understand.  Last year when we won 5-0 I thought We should not come here for a while and now we are back again.  We were really clinical that night.  Porto caused us problems but we started scoring from counter-attacks.  The advantage tomorrow for us is that its at home, their advantage is they can use last years result as motiviation.   I know my players well enough and they are completely focused on what they want to do and that has nothing to do with last years results.  We have to give them respect, but not too much.'

Team News

Klopp insisted a few players, Wijnaldum, van Dijk and Matip all picked up minor knocks but should be back available, whilst Joe Gomez (who travelled to Southampton with the squad) is likely a few sessions away from a return.

Jurgen was also asked about the Porto team, and what effect will it have if they play one or two strikers, and the effect of their missing defenders.  But Klopp laughed off giving a tactical summary on the opposition:

'Very interesting questions but I will not give any answers. I want to talk about football but I can't.

Liverpool will hold a brief training session in front of the media later this afternoon at Melwood.  Kick off is tomorrow evening at 8pm.

 

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