Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on Monday afternoon spoke to the media in a no-holds barred press conference ahead of his team’s UEFA Champions League round of 16, first leg fixture against Real Madrid at Anfield.
Klopp expressed optimism that his team can surmount the hurdle in the shape of the 14-time European champions.
Liverpool’s 2022/2023 season has not gone as planned for Klopp with his team sitted in 8th place in the English Premier League table but the European commitments represent another hope to make amends.
On his expectations from the game against Carlo Ancelotti’s ‘Los Merengues’, the former Borussia Dortmund gaffer said:
“Our people are football people and Real Madrid are in town. Celebrate this kind of event in the best possible way.”
“They (Real Madrid) are absolutely world class. They’re a well set-up team and that’s why it’s so difficult. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible,” the Spaniard admitted.
The Reds boss revealed that he has watched last season’s final against Madrid for the first time last weekend and called it “proper torture.”
On his team’s encouraging back-to-back wins in the league as morale booster, Klopp admitted that it has helped forge a stronger side.
“We looked a lot more like a team again, but we still have to prove that point.
“It looks different – we feel it, we see it and it helps the mood massively,” the German tactician added.
Liverpool defeated Newcastle United 2-0 on Saturday to end the Toons’ 17-game unbeaten streak.
On the shoulder injury suffered by forward Darwin Nunez, Klopp was not emphatic on the chances of the Uruguayan playing on Tuesday and hinted that the player could play with the pain barrier.
“There is a chance. It depends how he can deal with the pain,” Klopp said in reference to Nunez being fit for the game.
The game will kick off Tuesday night at 9pm Nigerian time.
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