Jurgen Klopp has warned Liverpool to be wary of a Porto side seeking revenge at Anfield in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg.
The Reds cruised past the Portuguese champions in the last 16 of the 2017-18 competition, a first-leg 5-0 win doing the damage as Klopp’s side progressed following a goalless draw in the return match on Merseyside.
Given the thumping nature of that victory against Sergio Conceicao’s side and their relative status as one of the Champions League’s remaining minnows, Liverpool are favourites to progress to the last four.
Klopp, though, does not anticipate his side having it all their own way and believes Porto could be dangerous as they bid to avenge last year’s elimination.
“We thought last season after we won 5-0, ‘okay, we should not come here for a while’ and then we are back again,” he told a media conference.
“It was a strange game. We were very clinical. Porto were really good at the start and then we started scoring with two or three goals from counter-attacks.
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“The advantage for us on Tuesday is that we are at home. The advantage for them is they can use last year as a motivation.
“Porto are a very experienced team. They have Iker Casillas in goal and they are at the top of the Portuguese league with Benfica each year.
“It is a different game to last year. We’re really happy to have the opportunity so we will try to do it again.
“Many people have said so many things. Everyone wanted Porto, but we didn’t want them. People with a proper idea of football didn’t want to play Porto, but we have them. It will be a tough one – we are really looking forward to it.”
Crucial to Liverpool’s success will be forward Mohamed Salah, who ended an eight-game goal drought in a 3-1 victory against Southampton in the Premier League on Friday.
Salah’s strike meant he reached 50 Premier League goals quicker than anyone in Liverpool’s history.
While insisting that the Egypt international never lost faith during his barren spell, Klopp thinks some of the pressure that was building around him has been dispelled.
“He was so close in so many moments, and now he has 18 goals [in the Premier League],” he added. “It’s a brilliant number.
“He’s a grown man, and he knows he has to work for it. His work rate was always brilliant, in training and in games, so that’s why nobody was concerned. But when you score a world-class goal, of course it helps.
“A beautiful goal, it was so decisive and so important.”
Klopp confirmed Adam Lallana is likely to miss the clash due to a muscle injury, while Joe Gomez will only be included in the squad if there are any late withdrawals as he is yet to reach full fitness following an ankle injury sustained in December.
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