Jurgen Klopp sat down with the media in his pre-match press conference ahead of Liverpool’s first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern Munich.
After comfortably beating Bournemouth in the league nine days ago, the Reds went on a four-day trip to Marbella for a training camp, as they hoped to get any injured players back and make the squad ready for the business end of this season.
Having been knocked out of both domestic cups, Liverpool have two big competitions to concentrate on in the coming days.
For what it’s worth, Klopp has a pretty good record when it comes to winning two-legged ties in European competitions. The Reds have reached the Europa League and Champions League finals under the German.
Coming back to the press conference, the manager updated us with injury news, talked about the quality of Bayern, hailed the Anfield atmosphere, especially in European nights and much more.
Here’s what the gaffer had to say in full:
On Lovren and other team news
Dejan Lovren suffered a hamstring in the FA Cup tie against Wolves early last month.
He hasn’t recovered yet, meaning with Virgil van Dijk suspended and Joe Gomez out, Liverpool could be forced to play with a make-shift back-line.
Klopp had his say on the situation and provided fans with a couple more injury updates.
“You want the complete line up? Dejan we have to see. Yesterday he had a clearing session. We’ll see how he reacted. Shaq trained and looked good.”
“If – if – [Fabinho plays there] in the Champions League against Bayern Munich it’s not an easy job,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference on Monday.
On facing Bayern
This is the first time a Jurgen Klopp team will face Bayern Munich since he left Borussia Dortmund.
He talked about the Bavarian’s current situation this season.
“Pretty much how it is most of the time, I am not sure if it is an English saying as well, but always when Munich has a difficult situation it is ‘moaning on a really high level’ because after being six years the dominator of the league, it was clear this year would be a more difficult year. It is a completely normal situation.
“The situation in Munich, from my point of view, makes them even more dangerous, more of a threat than they were before. This is a competition in which they were historically always good [in], but we have our own targets, we have our own aims.”
On the Anfield atmosphere
We all know about the European nights at Anfield and Liverpool have witnessed few special ones under Klopp. The German had his say after Liverpool were labelled as an ’emotional’ club.
“In Germany a lot of people are talking now about the atmosphere of Anfield, talking about that maybe we are the most emotional club in world football.
“Emotion in my opinion is a very positive thing, so let’s show that tomorrow night – let’s make it a very emotional place, let’s make it a very lively place on the pitch, in the stands and let’s enjoy the game together. It is a tough one against a really strong and very experienced team, but we are strong as well and that’s what we have to show.”
On facing his old friends Lewandowski and Hummels
Klopp managed the duo and won the Bundesliga at Dortmund. Lewandowski showed arguably some of his greatest form working under Klopp, with performances that would go on and earn him his move to Bayern.
“I worked together with these two boys and I loved it. Two fantastic players and I have to be really thankful because without them, probably my career would not have been the same. We all benefitted from each other.”