Jurgen Klopp has called on Liverpool fans attending Thursday’s Europa League clash at home to LASK to make it ‘a real European night at Anfield’.
The Reds will book their place in the knockout rounds of the competition if they preserve their 100% record in L4 this season, and they could potentially seal first place in the group and advance straight to the round of 16 in March.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday, the 56-year-old implored the home supporters to play their part in helping the team to achieve its objective and almost treat it as if it were a Champions League game.
Klopp stated (via Liverpool Echo): “We have to make this a real European night at Anfield. A team with fresh legs who will go for it, really fight for a result. If Anfield wants to do that as well, that would be massively helpful.
“If it was a Champions League game…I don’t have to talk about these kind of things! We need to make a special night of it. It’s a difficult game.”
Anfield’s reputation on a big European night is the stuff of legend in world football, with the likes of Pep Guardiola, Alex Ferguson, Johan Cruyff and even Jose Mourinho waxing lyrical about it in the past.
Admittedly it can be harder for fans to rouse themselves for Europa League games than illustrious Champions League opposition, but the former competition has given us plenty of fond memories before – just think back to that night against Borussia Dortmund in 2016.
A win tomorrow night would be about more than securing three points. It’d potentially enable us to bypass the two-legged knockout play-off round in February and, should that happen, give us the luxury of having nothing riding on the trip to Union Saint-Gilloise less than 72 hours before we play Manchester United on 17 December.
Of course the team has a responsibility to put in the kind of performance which’ll help to whip Anfield into a frenzy against LASK, but in turn the home fans can help to inspire the men in red by generating the level of atmosphere which has made this venue so iconic in the world of football.
If you’re going to the game on Thursday, you know what to do!