Klopp sets sights on success for both short- and long-term in ‘competition we love’

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Tuesday’s clash at Anfield will be the first time Liverpool and Midtjylland have ever met in a competitive fixture.

The game sees six-time winners of the competition Liverpool host a club who were only founded in 1999 and are making their first appearance in the Champions League.

It has been billed as David against Goliath by some of the media in Denmark, but Klopp does not see it that way.

“We don’t see Midtjylland as a small club, we see Midtjylland as a proper challenger in this group,” he said.

“No-one is part of the Champions League because they are nice cities, they are in the Champions League because they earned the right the year before.

“There are no small teams in the Champions League, there are only teams who show how big they are on the pitch, not in the press conferences before games.

“The 4-0 against Atalanta was not a 4-0 – it was because the score was 4-0 but Midtjylland were in the game. Tomorrow it will be a real challenge and we have to be ready for it, and we will try to be.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 11, 2020: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp waves goodbye to the Champions League after the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético de Madrid at Anfield. Club Atlético de Madrid won 3-2 (4-2 on aggregate). (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season, Liverpool, as defending champions, were knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16 by Atletico Madrid and forced to watch the finale of the competition from their summer training camp.

Klopp is keen to avoid another early exit this time around and is ready to resume the club’s love affair with the competition.

“It should not happen again, of course, but that is far away. We played a really good game against Atletico, but people tend to forget that when you lose,” said Klopp.

“We love the competition even though we got knocked out early. It is Liverpool in the Champions League at Anfield again tomorrow, even though there is no crowd, and it is a competition we love. I hope we showed that last week too.

“There are no guarantees but plenty of opportunities and we like opportunities, so let’s see where we go.”

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