Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Klopp insists Liverpool not thinking of Europa League final

Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool are not looking beyond Atalanta and thinking about the Europa League final.

Liverpool take on the Italian side in the first leg of their quarter-final tie on Thursday evening, as the Reds look to win European silverware in Klopp’s final campaign.

The Europa League is the only competition Klopp has competed in without winning during his managerial career, having lost the 2016 final to Sevilla in his debut campaign at Anfield.

 

This season’s final will take place in Dublin on May 22, in what would be Klopp’s final fixture in charge of Liverpool before his departure this summer, should the Reds reach the Dublin Arena.

However, the German said his team are not looking beyond Atalanta and has warned of the threat the Serie A side will pose in the last eight.

“It’s not a personal thing for me really, it is for us, from when we were there eight years ago in Basel and lost to the serial winners of the competition,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference.

“So that wasn’t a great night but it was the start of a lot of other things.

“Last year, it didn’t look like we would be in international football at all but when we saw our chance, we were desperate. And you only do that because you want to win the competition and there are only great teams left in it now.

“We know what Atalanta is all about, they are different to play against as all Italian teams are. They are super disciplined, attacking, so we have to be at our best over two legs to get into the next round.

“We can’t think of the final yet.”

Klopp was asked for his view on Atalanta, who won on the previous visit to Anfield in November 2020, and who Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola likened playing against to a trip to the dentist.

 

“Playing against us can be like going to the dentist as well, to be honest. That is what Pep said about coming to Atalanta.

“They are a consistent team but every player has different skillsets. We are expecting them to be super organised and they are very experienced.

“It was three and a half years ago, but we are not the same team from that time either. There has probably been about 1500 games in that time.

“So I cannot compare to the team we played that long ago but it will be a tricky game for both teams.”

Read – The lowest Premier League points totals needed for Champions League qualification

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