After a rare week off between matches, Liverpool have a big couple of days ahead of them with the return leg of their Round of 32 clash with FC Augsburg in the Europa League tomorrow being quickly followed up by the League Cup final with Manchester City at the weekend. While it’s been suggested that the Anfield outfit should be able to navigate the German side with ease, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp isn’t about to consider fielding a weakened team knowing full well what his opposition are capable of doing.
“It’s an opportunity to prove that they can start. That’s how it should be,” stressed the Liverpool manager in his pre-match press conference. “You cannot say stay outside, watch the game and we can keep you [fresh]. We have to show that we are able to 100 per cent be concentrated in this game, and then we will have a real good chance in the final,” he continued. “But if we give this game away and say, ‘we have a final on the weekend’, then in my opinion we don’t deserve [to win the final].”
Video courtesy of The Reds
A scoreless draw in Germany left the tie hanging in the balance with Klopp highly critical of not only the performance of his own side, but the media’s portrayal of the Fuggerstädter as a lesser side — an impression that he wasn’t about to further.
“We could lose tomorrow because Augsburg are strong – I know you don’t think this – but you can lose,” said a pragmatic Klopp. “But you have to show you tried everything and if you try everything then it’s okay and you deserve [victories],” he continued, waxing philosophical. “Life is really fair: if you give all, you don’t get all [every] time but it’s the only chance to get something. I hope it’s not a test, I hope we show we want to win this game and then finish the game and think about the next one.”