Traveling out of Europe in the middle of December to take part in an international tournament is not exactly business as usual. This is the busiest time of the year in the Premier League, and having to shift priorities and shift resources to this is an interesting new puzzle that Klopp has had to navigate.
Andy Robertson is among the players who have made the trip to Doha as part of the squad set to take on Monterrey FC in the semi-final.
“It is something different and something we haven’t experienced before, so it’s something we look forward to,” Robertson told the official site. “It’s a chance to get our hands on another trophy in this calendar year and it’s got to be something we go for.
“We know what you become if you win it; you get to lift another trophy and you get the badge on your shirt and stuff like that, so it’s very important to us.”
Klopp has brought his big names to Qatar, though we still don’t know what team he plans to field. If they get past the Mexican side, then they’ll take on either Flamengo or Al Hilal in the final on Saturday.
The situation is unusual, but so is the preparation, as Liverpool’s analysts will be working overtime to learn the strengths and weaknesses of this new competition.
“They are players we’d never normally face in any other competition,” Robertson explained. “When it comes to Champions League, you always have a look at what teams you can potentially play and you know the players, but over here there are some players we don’t know a lot about – and that’s no disrespect to them, it’s just that they’re playing on different continents and we’d never normally play them.
“Now we’ve come to this tournament and I am sure our analysts have done an excellent job and over the next couple of days we’ll learn everything we need to do and that’s important because sometimes these teams are the ones that can surprise you.”
Robertson was given a bit of a break at the weekend. James Milner started at left-back in his place, though Robertson did have to enter the game after 60 minutes when Gini Wijnaldum went out injured. That makes it more likely that he’ll be in the starting line-up on Wednesday as they fight to bring this trophy back to Merseyside for the first time.