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.
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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