Liverpool vs Bayern Munich - Klopp: Liverpool fans would prefer PL title



Posted Tuesday, February 19, 2019 by PA

Liverpool vs Bayern Munich - Klopp: Liverpool fans would prefer PL title

Jurgen Klopp has no doubt Liverpool fans would prefer winning the Premier League to the Champions League ahead of their European tie with Bayern Munich.

The Reds, who were last crowned English top-flight champions in 1990, are second in their domestic league on goal difference behind Manchester City, who have played one game more.

A trip to fierce rivals Manchester United awaits on Sunday but the Merseyside outfit’s immediate focus is on Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 first leg against Bayern at Anfield.

Klopp knows what his club’s supporters would choose if they had to decide between the two competitions, but the Reds boss is determined to target victory in both.

“It’s difficult for me to answer the question, but if you would have to decide, for all Liverpool fans it is the Premier League, that is clear, we know that,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference on Monday.

“But now we play Champions League and I think we all expect we will do our best tomorrow night. And thank God we don’t have to make that decision.

“The only thing we can do is give it our all and play very passionate, lively football, the football people expect when they come to Anfield.

“We expect a good atmosphere but we know about the part we have to play. But it will be outstanding tomorrow night.

“I have experienced it now a couple of times, that our crowd is really able to push us from 100 to 120, 130, 140 per cent. It happened here from time to time, and hopefully tomorrow night again.”

Liverpool go into the first leg with key man Virgil Van Dijk suspended.

With Dejan Lovren (hamstring) a doubt and Joe Gomez (broken leg) out, midfielder Fabinho could join Joel Matip in central defence.

Klopp said: “Dejan, we have yet to see. (Winger Xherdan) Shaqiri (who has had an abdominal injury) trained yesterday and looked very good.

“Fabinho – if (he plays in defence)… In the Champions League, against Bayern Munich, it’s not an easy job.

“But because we thought it makes sense that we don’t leave our last row alone defending against Bayern, it depends all on how we defend in general, so that’s it.”

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac feels Liverpool are the toughest Champions League draw his men could have been handed but has backed the Bavarians to get a positive result at Anfield.

“I want to say once again we are playing tomorrow against an opponent where it is the most difficult draw,” Kovac said.

“If you look at what Liverpool did in the Champions League last season, and what they are doing in the Premier League this season, then you have to say it is the most difficult draw that there is.

“The atmosphere will definitely be good, but I’m sure my players have gone through a lot of big games with great atmospheres, so that’s not an argument that we shouldn’t be able to compete tomorrow.

“We just have to get into the game, be focused, stand up to the first attacks and then we’ll try to play our game, and (then) we can get a successful result.

“The Champions League is undoubtedly special and tomorrow when the lads leave the hotel or come into the stadium, they’ll know what it’s about, why they need venues like this and opponents like this.

“I’m completely convinced everybody will be right in the head and produce performances they have to to get a result tomorrow.”

The visitors look set to be without Jerome Boateng on Tuesday, the defender having been hit by gastroenteritis and not travelled with the squad.

Winger Franck Ribery is another player who did not come across from Germany with his team-mates on Monday, following the birth of his daughter during the night, but he was due to arrive ahead of the match.

It appears Kingsley Coman, who scored twice before coming off with an injury in Friday’s 3-2 win at Augsburg, will be available.

Leon Goretzka trained individually on Monday having picked up a slight ankle problem. Thomas Muller is suspended.

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