Genk head into tomorrow’s Champions League match against Liverpool as underdogs, the consensus pick for team number four in the group, but manager Jürgen Klopp is cautioning everyone not to expect an easy match.
In their first game, they were hammered 6-2 by Salzburg, but in their second they held Napoli to a scoreless draw—and it’s this latter match that Klopp says was a fairer reflection both of their talent and how they’ve played.
“There is no Champions League game that is ‘straightforward,’” he noted. “If you saw Genk against Salzburg, not the result but the game, the result that was there at the end would not be part of any ideas of anybody.
“It just didn’t look like that. They lost that game, but then against Napoli it was good. We don’t want to make Genk bigger than they are, but they are in the Champions League, they play good football, they are at home.”
At home, but on paper at least, still underdogs. Able to give Liverpool problems—as they did to Napoli and even Salzburg despite the final score—but an opponent that, if the Reds play their best game, they should beat.
And despite a busy run of fixtures over the next month, that’s the only thing Klopp is focused on. Not on rest or rotation or changing out anyone who doesn’t need it—just on tomorrow and Liverpool’s best chance at winning.
“For us it is a very intense period,” he added. “Some of my players have already had 17 games, that’s half of a season in Germany, with international games. It’s no problem, we are not tired, not at all. It’s all good.
“We have two positions we have to change with Joël [Matip] and Trent [Alexander-Arnold]. Then let’s see what we can do on top of that, but it’s always about being best prepared for the next opponent—and that is Genk tomorrow.”