Jurgen Klopp has warned that Liverpool need a ‘top class performance’ ahead of the club’s Champions League last-16 tie with Inter Milan.
Liverpool resume their Champions League campaign with a trip to face the Nerazzurri at the San Siro tomorrow evening, the first leg of the club’s first knockout round clash with the Italian champions.
The Reds head into the clash after winning a sixth successive fixture in all competitions against Burnley on Sunday and Klopp says his side will be facing a ‘top team’ with big individual quality on Wednesday night.
“The difference is massive between Burnley and Inter in some parts, but in other parts, not so much because it is still a football game,” he said at his pre-match press conference.
“If we are dominant, Inter will defend pretty compact but I’m pretty sure it won’t be as windy or rainy as it was in Burnley so that will make a difference.
“Inter are a top class team with top class players and a top class manager. They look really rock solid they have creativity on the pitch and they are very well-drilled.
“Individual quality is big and that is the Champions League. We have to show a top class performance to even have a chance.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 14, 2022
Klopp discussed the options in the Inter Milan and said he is looking forward to a reunion with former Borussia Dortmund star Ivan Perisic when asked which player from the opposition he is most looking forward to facing.
“That is Ivan Perisic. we worked together [at Borussia Dortmund] and won the double in Germany. I’m looking forward to seeing him.
“That Nicolo Barella is not able to play [through suspension] is not bad for us. He is a really good player and I like him a lot and he has all the things you want for a midfield player. He is aggressive, he is technical and he can run for ages.
“I think the replacement may be Arturo Vidal maybe, and that is experience at its best. He has played everywhere at the top level so I’m not sure if it’s an advantage for us that he will play instead of Barella. It is more important how we play.
“What kind of mood can you create in a game and what kind of mentality can you produce? It depends on the players but on the team. It will be really interesting and if I wasn’t involved, I would definitely be watching it.”
Inter are second in Serie A at present after a 1-1 draw with Napoli on Saturday, one point behind leaders AC Milan with a game in hand on their city rivals.