There’s no easy matches in Europe and when Liverpool run out against AS Roma in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, they’ll do so against a side that have beaten the likes of Chelsea, Barcelona and Shakhtar Donetsk along the way.
“Nobody thought after the first result that they can have the kind of comeback against Barcelona because it’s not usually possible,” explained Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, doing his press call ahead of the first leg. “They can make seven or eight changes for their last league game and look comfortable and win which is a big advantage. But then being at Anfield is an advantage to us as well,” mused the German manager. “Obviously for Roma It’s a semi-final which is a big thing for them like us, they not used to it like us and you will see two excited teams and that’s good for football.”
If there’s one thing to be said about European competition, it’s that anyone can win and just as the Giallorossi upset Barca to get to the final four, Liverpool did the same in knocking out newly crowned Premier League champions Manchester City — putting five goals past Pep Guardiola’s side in the process.
They’re being touted as favorites to go on and beat Eusebio Di Francesco’s side to seal a date with either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich in the final, but the Reds aren’t taking anything for granted — especially Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson.
“It’s a different team, manager and way of playing. They’ll ask different questions to Manchester City,” stressed the skipper, knowing full well that they’re in for a game. “We have played a lot of good sides in Europe this season and we have answered the questions that have been thrown at us,” continued Henderson. “We have got a little bit of work to do today and in the morning to fine tune our preparation but we just need to carry on doing what we are. Playing at that high intensity and creating and scoring goals.”