Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has described tomorrow night’s Europa League showdown with Manchester United as the “mother of all football games”.
It will be the first time ever that we face our great rivals in European competition, as they visit Anfield for the first leg of the hotly-anticipated last-16 tie.
Klopp might be new to this rivalry – he has faced United only once as Reds boss and lost 1-0 – but he certainly appreciates the magnitude of the occasion.
“Games like this are the mother of all football games and that’s what you want when you are young,” BBC Sport quotes Klopp as saying at his press conference. “It’s enough of a target to want to go through to the next round without thinking about the final.”
The 1-0 defeat that Klopp oversaw at Anfield in January was our fourth loss in four matches against United since Louis van Gaal’s appointment in 2014.
But the German is absolutely unconcerned by that record, because he is convinced that we can at least match the Red Devils for quality on the pitch.
“Manchester United have won the last four but it means nothing. It would mean more if they had much more quality than us,” Klopp told reporters on Wednesday.
“I don’t have a problem with Louis van Gaal but the last thing I want in this game is that he wins.”
Klopp also insisted that having players back who weren’t available for our last match against United, and the Anfield atmosphere, can make a big difference.
He said: “We are in a completely different situation (from the last game against Manchester United). We have more players available. We have to use this.”
“The fans can show that we can create a better atmosphere in the first leg than Manchester United in the second leg” – at Old Trafford a week on Thursday.
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