Liverpool need a positive result against Porto in Wednesday’s Champions League last 16 clash if they are to make the most of home advantage when the two meet again at Anfield for the second leg, manager Juergen Klopp said.
Liverpool have not lost to Porto in four previous meetings, winning two games at home and drawing twice away while scoring seven goals but Klopp said his team’s quest to take something back for next month’s return leg will not be easy.
“We know Anfield is a place where the crowd can make the difference and that’s what we will want to use in the second game but for that we need a result in the first game,” Klopp told reporters on Tuesday.
“We will fight for everything tomorrow. We are thinking about a result that will give us a good chance in the second game but it will be hard work.”
Liverpool advanced to the knockout stage topping Group E ahead of Spanish side Sevilla, with three wins and three draws, but Klopp said they would have to be “outstandingly strong” against two-times European champions Porto.
“Because they are experienced, physical and good footballers with a good plan. It’s quite a job to do so that’s all we are focused on… We are looking forward to it. The last 16 means 16 really, really good teams face each other,” he added.
“I respect Porto a lot. They are a mixture of football and fight. I like that… but we are not too bad either, and we want to show that… I know it’s a close race.”
Liverpool have taken a 25-member side to Portugal and will remain there for a four-day training camp after Wednesday’s clash with no FA Cup commitments on the weekend, after being knocked out of the competition by West Bromwich Albion.