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Klopp: “Would Be Big” to Qualify from Group with Games to Spare

The manager is hoping to avoid a “cup final” situation on the last day of Champions League group play.

Liverpool Training Session Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Jürgen Klopp is hoping that Liverpool FC will be able to avoid a “cup final” like situation on the last day of Champions League group play. It’s something the Reds are quite familiar with. Just three years ago, Liverpool needed a win and a wonder save from Alisson against Napoli to go through. Then, the Reds again had to wait until the final day to secure first place, a 2-0 win at Salzburg fending off Napoli again. Things haven’t always been as worry-free as we would have preferred. Klopp spoke about this at his pre-match presser against Atletico:

Of course it would be big, it’s just that we usually don’t have to talk about these kind of things because we usually have a final in the group and I hope that will not happen this year like with the last matchday of the group stage when we need a 1-0 or something like and it is not allowed the opponent scores at all.

Of course, we want to avoid that but we cannot make the second step before the first step - and the first step is to win against Atletico and that’s already difficult enough. What it means then and what kind of achievement it would be, we can talk about it afterwards. That’s not for the moment - for the moment we have to prepare a football game against one of the best sides in the world and one of the most determined sides in the world, one of the most motivated sides in the world.

They obviously go for everything all the time - and that’s what we know. We played them now the fifth time tomorrow, in the tournament in Munich I think [pre-season 2017] and the two games one-and-a-half years ago. We know a lot about each other so there should not be any surprises, so we can prepare the game and play the best possible way we can. That’s the idea.

With the midfield, in particular, looking slightly short on legs at the moment, it sure would be nice if we had the option to rest or rotate some dudes with an eye on the Premier League. For example, Liverpool will play host a resurgent Arsenal just four days before Porto. A positive result against Atletico Madrid would go a long way.