Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has expressed his opinion that his side’s Premier League form will not count in the UEFA Champions League and stated that Atletico Madrid will be a tough opponent.
The Reds are one of the most in-form teams in Europe, more so in England where they currently have a 25-point lead over their closest rivals Manchester City with just 12 match days to go.
Liverpool are also the defending champions in the Champions League after winning the title in June last year by beating domestic rivals Tottenham Hotspur 2-0.
Liverpool are understandably coming into Tuesday night’s clash with Atletico as firm favourites as they have not suffered a single defeat in the league campaign.
Klopp, while talking to the media ahead of his team’s first-leg tie against Atletico, suggested that it will be a hard-fought contest against Los Rojiblancos despite their struggles in the La Liga.
“Playing Atletico is one of the most difficult things in football – they are really well organised and give you no presents,” Klopp was quoted by Sky Sports.
“If there is a team you have to be at your best in all departments against then it’s Atletico.
“If you work as hard as possible you have a chance but if you are not focused for one moment they will close you done and counter-attack.
“How they have played so far this season is not as bad as what people are saying and it has nothing to do with what happens tomorrow.
“The team who fights more and wants it more will go through to the next round and not the team who plays a better Premier League or La Liga season.”
Liverpool’s attacking players have been in sparkling form this season, with the trio of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino arguably the most-devastating forward line in European football.
However, Atletico have a stellar record in the Champions League in recent seasons and a defensive solidarity in their ranks.
The first leg promises to be an exciting affair, with Liverpool returning to the stadium that they claimed last season’s Champions League crown.