Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted that his team are the underdogs in the Champions League tie with Manchester City, but has challenged the team to write a new chapter in the history books of the club.
The English duo meet in the Champions League quarter final first leg tomorrow in what is billed to be a momentous night, and Klopp is using past games between the teams as inspiration that they can make the semi final.
“We know it’s difficult. Did we think before the first game we would lose 5-0? No. Did we think before the second game we would win 4-3? No. Do we know we have a chance? Yes, that was clear before," Klopp said ahead of the game (as quoted by the Liverpool Echo)
“But they are the favourites. In specific moments, we are on a similar level but they do it much more consistent, that’s why they have around 20 points more. No problem with respecting that, but we all know, in this game, it doesn’t mean too much."
While he insists that Manchester City are the favourites for the tie, the Liverpool boss has promised that his team will bring 'fire' to the game, which will lead to an entertaining game, just like the league encounters earlier in the season.
“We see our chance but we know it will be unbelievably difficult. But if I have the choice to watch a Champions League game, I would watch this one. It’s about tactics but there will be fire, that’s cool. It’s at Anfield so a good atmosphere to watch.”
Klopp has an impressive record over Man City manager Pep Guardiola, having won 6 of his 12 games against the Spaniard. But the Liverpool boss is not taking notice of personal statistics.
"I never beat Pep Guardiola, it was my teams. That record is not important. Pep isn't worried about that record and I am not proud of it. If you can beat the best that's enough for that day," he said in his pre-match press conference (as reported by Liverpool Echo reporter James Pearce)
While the German admitted that his opposition do have weaknesses, he wasn't keen on discussing them before the game.
"They are not perfect, that's not possible. But this isn't the moment to talk about weaknesses, it's about showing respect. You can't win it here by talking bullshit," he said.
Much has been made about the history of Liverpool in the competition, but Klopp is keen to write a new chapter in the club's history books.
"We have to write our own history. I meet people who tell me about goals Liverpool scored 30 years ago. This team need to be proud of our history but we need to make our own."
The first leg of the tie at Anfield kicks off at 19.45 (GMT) on Wednesday night, with the return leg taking place at the Etihad just under a week later on Tuesday March 10.