Jurgen Klopp is demanding Anfield be at its noisiest and most special on Thursday night, when Borussia Dortmund head to town for the second leg of the Europa League quarterfinal.
It’s the most important game since the German took charge last year, and could see Liverpool progress to a European semi-final as favourites for the competition. The tie’s poised at 1-1, but Klopp thinks the atmosphere and the help of the home crowd will be more important than the fact his side scored an away goal last week.
“Hopefully the atmosphere will be something I haven’t had until now,” Klopp told his press-conference before the clash.
“We’ve had a few wonderful atmospheres in the Europa League. The best for sure was against Man United. This is the level we have to jump over.
“But I don’t like atmospheres in football when they don’t impact on the game. We have to do our job. We have to be part of it. We have to show we are ready. Then I’m pretty sure the fans will help us.
“The away goal is not a real issue. Anyone who has seen Dortmund in the last few months knows they can score goals anywhere in the world.
“We don’t say ‘let’s just try to keep a clean sheet, we don’t need to score’. That’s not how it works. Maybe after 85 or 89 minutes it will be relevant but not at the moment.
“It’s an open game. The crowd will be more of an advantage if we are good and if the fans like the game. That’s more of an advantage than the away goal in Dortmund.
“We know about the qualities of Dortmund. Now they know more about our qualities too. We will see who handles the situation better, who is more disciplined in defence, who is brave enough to take their chances.
“Both teams are well organised so anything can happen. But in my opinion the atmosphere can be the biggest difference.”
It’s a cliche, but it’s true: there really is nothing like Anfield on a European night. Klopp’s comments indicate that he wants the emotion of the crowd to help drag Liverpool to victory, and you can be sure Anfield, led by the Kop, will be willing.
Dortmund’s atmosphere was something special, but despite having 25,000 less fans crammed inside, we can better it tomorrow – although as Klopp suggests – this’ll be much easier if we start at full pelt.
Our opponents haven’t lost a match in 2016, but we outplayed them at Signal Iduna Park and will have the advantage of 43,000 Scousers screaming us on.