Liverpool are expecting a loud and imposing atmosphere at the Marakana when they walk out to face Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League tonight, but it isn’t going to get any easier for them after this week’s fourth group stage tie.
With a trip to face Paris Saint-Germain on the road up next and a final group stage match at home against Napoli, tonight is the game Liverpool are most heavily favoured in—no matter the atmosphere. Jürgen Klopp, though, isn’t thinking of it as a must-win.
“That’s how everybody from outside sees it,” Klopp said when asked if this is the match Liverpool absolutely have to win in order to advance. “But for me, it’s not that we have no chance to get points from the other two games.
“We play in Paris, which is obviously not an easy place to go, and then at home against Napoli. It’s not that tomorrow is our only chance. I don’t think you should go into a game like this and put an extra amount of pressure on your shoulders.”
It may well not be a must win. After all, Liverpool proved last season that this group of players could go toe to toe with anyone in Europe. Certainly, though, a win that would keep them top of the group wouldn’t hurt their chances.
A win, though, is always the goal. It’s the goal tonight against Red Star and then on the road against Paris and at home to Napoli. And so Klopp and Liverpool will be looking for the win, but it won’t have anything to do with the next two games.
“For football it’s always important that you can enjoy the challenge,” the Liverpool manager added. “I don’t feel tomorrow is the only opportunity for us to get three points. It’s an opportunity—not more, not less—and we will try everything.”