Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates after the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Liverpool at The London Stadium, in east London on May 14, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS /
Jurgen Klopp says Manchester City won’t be happy to have been drawn against Liverpool in a Champions League quarter-final showdown of Premier League rivals.
Klopp’s side were paired with Premier League leaders City in Friday’s draw and the Reds boss is certain Pep Guardiola’s side will be feeling a little nervous about the prospect.
Although City beat Liverpool 5-0 in September, they suffered their only league defeat this season at Liverpool on January 14.
The Reds raced into a 4-1 lead before settling for a 4-3 victory and Klopp believes that vibrant performance will set the tone for the European rematch.
The quarter-final first leg will take place at Anfield on April 4 and the decisive return is set for April at Eastlands 10.
“We’ve lost once and we’ve won once against them in the league. I don’t think they thought before the best draw they could have got is Liverpool. That’s a sign for us and how strong we can be,” Klopp told Liverpool’s website.
“We are for sure not the favourites in this round, but in the last eight there are not a lot of favourites -– maybe two of them, Bayern and Barcelona -– but thank God it’s football and nothing is decided.”
The tie will be the first meeting between Premier League sides in the Champions League quarter-finals since 2010-11 when Manchester United beat Chelsea.
Facing another English team gives the clash added spice and Klopp is relishing the occasion.
“I’ve said it before and it’s still the truth, it’s always common in a draw that you’ll get your neighbour, more or less, but to be honest I don’t mind, really,” he said.
“It is exactly like it was before –- we take what we’ve got. Now it’s Manchester City, let’s go.
“We have a few games to play until then, but I am really looking forward to it and we will give it everything.”
Runaway leaders City are 21 points clear of fourth-placed Liverpool, but Klopp hopes the frenzied atmosphere at Anfield on another big European night will prove a key factor.
Asked whether he a special night was in store, Klopp replied: “100 percent! We are already looking forward to that. And it’s a nice, short trip for our supporters when we go to City.
“We can get a result at home for sure, but it’s obviously a difficult game.
“The good thing is they are the team we know most about. It’s not too cool for England because now only one team can go to the semis. But we will try everything.”
City are chasing their first European Cup and the club’s director of football Txiki Begiristain admits Liverpool will pose a significant obstacle.
“It’s a very difficult one. We like to travel and to go to another country in the Champions League but it is what it is,” he said.
“In the Champions League there is no time for mistakes, everything has to work, you have to be almost perfect in both games. We know the power and the strength of Liverpool.”