Jurgen Klopp names Manchester City as the ‘strongest’ team in the Champions League but insists Liverpool can win competition

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool face Porto in the last-16 of the Champions League (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp has named Manchester City as the ‘strongest’ team in the Champions League – but insists Liverpool are capable of defying the odds to win the competition.

Ahead of the first leg of Liverpool’s last-16 clash with Porto on Wednesday evening, Klopp said his team’s performance against City last month proved they can compete with the best.

Scoring three goals within nine minutes, the Reds blew Premier League leaders City away before Pep Guardiola’s side mounted a late and futile comeback as they were beaten 4-3.

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Since that defeat, City have won three of their four league fixtures and thrashed Basel 4-0 on Tuesday to put themselves on the verge of a Champions League quarter-final.

The likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich will hope to join City in the last eight and Klopp believes his side have more than enough strength to compete with Europe’s elite clubs.

‘I know it already we can compete with them, I don’t have to look at them,’ Klopp said ahead of Wednesday’s clash Estádio do Dragão in Porto.

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‘I think probably the strongest football team in Europe at this moment is Manchester City. So we played them twice already at the highest level.

‘PSG is a little different, but I don’t look at them, I know it already [we can compete with them]. If we meet them [Man City] then we could beat them. That is how it is.

‘The last 16 in Europe there are so many good teams around who want to be in the competition and we are in.’

Having won 15 of their 27 Premier League games this season, Liverpool are third – above Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal – with 11 fixtures remaining.

Premier League leaders Manchester City thrashed Basel on Tuesday (Picture: Getty)The Reds must focus their entire efforts on the Champions League for now, however, and Klopp admits his side have been ‘waiting for this’ for several months.

‘Now we have to show that we don’t only want to be part of the competition – we are quite ambitious,’ the German boss said. ‘That is how it is and we have to take it seriously.

‘It feels different and you should not ignore that. You should not ignore the song at the beginning of the game. When you hear it – you sit at home and you think, “I want to be part of that”.

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‘It is the biggest club competition. But my experience taught me it is football, so the better side you have the better the chances, and we have quite a good football team.

‘I can not score the goals or whatever but we will be in the right mood for that game tomorrow. It was a long break between the group stage and now, but from the moment we were through we have been waiting for this and that’s what we have to show.’

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Porto vs Liverpool TV channel, kick-off time, date, odds and team news

Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah have been in sensational form for Liverpool (Picture: REUTERS)Liverpool return to Champions League action on Wednesday evening as they travel to Porto for the first leg of their round of 16 clash with the Primeira Liga leaders.

The Reds picked up a comfortable 2-0 win at Southampton on Sunday in the Premier League which took them back to third in the table, only two points behind Manchester United in second.

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Porto are in good form themselves, though, winning all three games in February so far and hammering Chaves 4-0 on Sunday.

The Portuguese outfit are two points clear at the top of their domestic league with a game in hand over nearest rivals Benfica and Sporting.

Porto are coming off a comprehensive win at the weekend (Picture: AFP PHOTO)When is Porto vs Liverpool?

The match is on Wednesday, February 14 with kick-off at 7.45pm.

What TV channel is Porto vs Liverpool on?

BT Sport 2 will be showing the game live with coverage starting at 7pm.

Jurgen Klopp has his sights set on a Champions League quarter-final (Picture: AP Photo/Rui Vieira)Team news

Porto look likely to be without leading marksman Vincent Aboubakar who has been struggling with injury and missed Sunday’s game.

Danilo Pereira, Ivan Marcano and Andre Andre are all injured as well, whilst Felipe will miss the game after his red card in the final group stage game against Monaco.

Emre Can will miss the game due to suspension as well, and Klopp will be without Joe Gomez, Ragnar Klavan and Nathaniel Clyne through injury.

Porto’s head coach Sergio Conceicao is enjoying an impressive first season in charge (Picture: Getty Images)More: Football

What are the odds? (Courtesy of Betfair)

Liverpool – 13/10

Draw – 13/5

Porto – 11/5

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Liverpool v Porto: Everything you need to know about Champions League clash

(Picture: Getty)Liverpool face a tough test in the last 16 of the Champions League as they drew Porto in the draw on Monday.

The Reds topped their group and managed to avoid some big names, including Real Madrid, by drawing the Portuguese champions.

Here we run down all you need to know about the clash and how the Reds match up with Porto.

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WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME THEY PLAYED PORTO

Fernando Torres scored a brace last time Liverpool faced Porto (Picture: Getty)The last time Liverpool went toe-to-toe with Porto was in 2007 with qualification for the Champions League knockout stages up for offer.

The Reds have played Porto just four times in their history and have yet to be beaten.

Liverpool smashed Porto 4-1 in their last meeting at Anfield. The Reds also secured a 1-1 draw in the reverse group fixture, how Liverpool would love a repeat of those results.

ODDS FOR FIRST TIE

(Picture: Getty)Liverpool win – 13/8

Draw – 23/10

Porto win – 13/8

WHEN ARE THE GAMES PLAYED

Liverpool will play the first leg on Wednesday February 14 and then welcome Porto to Anfield on Tuesday March 6.

PORTO’S STAR PLAYER

Vincent Aboubakar (Picture: Getty)Vincent Aboubakar has been Porto’s star man in the group stages with five goals in five appearances.

The striker has already scored 20 times in all competitions this season and will be the danger man for Liverpool.

HOW PORTO CAME THROUGH THEIR GROUP

Porto finished runners-up in their group, four points behind Besiktas.

Despite two losses and a draw in the group stage, Porto managed to pip Leipzig to second place thanks to three crucial wins.

But, Porto demonstrated a mean defence, conceding just five times.

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