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Klopp Relishes ‘Exciting’ Champions League Clash

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The boss is looking forward to the deciding game in the group stages.

Liverpool FC Training and Press Conference Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool always like to do things the hard way, and so it will be again on Wednesday when the team take on Spartak Moscow in the final game of the Champions League group stage. The Reds host their Russian challengers at Anfield, and they’ll need to secure at least a point to earn a place in the last 16.

Relinquishing a three-goal lead in the last match against Sevilla means that this final match has more importance than they were likely hoping for. With luck, this will lead to another glorious European night at Anfield, with Liverpool once again returning to the knockout rounds of the Champions League for the first time in eight years.

One person eagerly anticipating this clash is Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp, who is looking for his team to come away with a resounding win in order to maintain their position atop the group.

“It's a proper final,” Klopp said. “It is all or nothing. We know about the situation. They know about the situation.

“It is the Champions League. It is always important but the last game of the group stage is the most important if you have to play for something, which we obviously have. Exciting. We know we can draw but we cannot go for the draw. This information is only useful for after the game when we see the results. We cannot play for that and we do not want to.

“There is pressure. We cannot ignore it, we are going for something big. But we had it against Middlesbrough and Hoffenheim – those types of games. We did it quite well so far and we have to do it again.

“You only play the group stage as Liverpool to come through to the last 16. It is a tight group and we've had some influence on that. Nothing is decided. We played good games and had good results but not enough points to go through already. Now we have to finish the job.”

Indeed, if their current form is anything to go by, Liverpool should be able to brush back the threat posed by Spartak Moscow. In their previous meeting, they only managed a frustrating draw that many believed should have been a victory.

But Liverpool can’t seem to stop scoring lately. Most recently, they put five past Brighton at the weekend. Adam Lallana will miss another game, but Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Philippe Coutinho, at least, should all be fit and ready to do some damage. If they are firing on all cylinders, it’s hard to think of any team that can stop the Mighty Reds.