After a much deserved break in Marbella, Liverpool are straight back in to the pressure cooker with the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 clash with Bayern Munich setting the stage for yet another one of those famous European nights at Anfield.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp knows a thing or two about the Bavarians having supplanted them — if only for a short while — as the dominant force in the Bundesliga during his time with Borussia Dortmund, but the German manager also knows the sting of losing out to “Hollywood FC” having come up just short when these two bitter rivals squared off in the 2013 final.
It goes without saying that there’s no easy fixtures at this stage in the game, but knowing full well the threat the visitors pose, we need to be worried about our game more than theirs.
“It’s always a big thing in these games that you show exactly the right amount of respect and not more. That’s what we will do. We have to play our game,” stressed Klopp, sounding just confident enough. “We all know the positive [things] I say about Bayern, I could say much more positive about us because I know us better,” mused the gaffer. “[We need] the right amount of respect, not a little bit more, and showing we are at home. I’m really looking forward to it.”
And though the race for the Premier League title remains the real focus of Liverpool supporters around the world, it’s safe to say they’re looking forward to it too — if there’s one thing that Anfield does absolutely right every time, it’s big European nights and they don’t come much bigger than the five time champions.
“We talked a lot about the power of Anfield and it’s the truth, but we don’t take it for granted, we have to create it anew every time,” explained Klopp. “If anybody ever asked about the influence of a crowd, in these games everybody experienced it in specific moments. It’s like pushing us from 100 per cent to 150 per cent,” added the manager, ready to make some memories. “If that’s possible, I think the crowd should give it a try.”