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Jurgen Klopp eager not to make “favourite” mistake against Benfica

For the fourth time in Jurgen Klopp‘s tenure, Liverpool are in the Champions League quarter-finals and will meet Benfica, but the manager is eager to not lean into the favourites tag.

The Reds have enjoyed an impressive European run this season with only Inter able to claim a win over Liverpool in the eight games to date.

The route to the final has now been made clear, with Benfica waiting in the last eight and either Villarreal or Bayern Munich awaiting in the semi-final.

But the Reds will not be getting ahead of their station in the first hurdle, as while Liverpool are to be considered heavy favourites it is not a tag that guarantees anything.

“Really looking forward to it. It’s a quarter-final so a tough one,” the manager told the club’s official website after Friday’s draw.

“Benfica did obviously really well against Ajax and that’s the situation; I know people will say we are the favourites and stuff like this, but that’s already the first mistake you could make.

LISBON, PORTUGAL - Thursday, April 1, 2010: SL Benfica supporters before the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match against Liverpool at the Estadio da Luz. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • QF First Leg: Tuesday, April 5, 8pm (BST)
  • QF Second Leg: Wednesday, April 13, 8pm (BST)

“We are too long in the business now to make these kinds of mistakes. I’m just really looking forward to it. I respect a lot what they are doing there, it’s a massive club.

“I don’t think I ever played there, to be 100 percent honest.

“Lisbon, a great city, on top of that – I spent my last week off on holiday [before taking the Liverpool job], I got the call from Mike Gordon in Lisbon.

“So that’s a nice memory as well; I was sitting in an outside coffee bar, I got the call and we made the decision actually in Lisbon.

“Obviously, we have a few guys with a Porto history in my coaching staff, so maybe there’s a little bit of a feeling of a derby, if you want. It’s great, absolutely great and can’t wait.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, March 8, 2022: Liverpool supporters on the Spion Kop before the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg game between Liverpool FC and FC Internazionale Milano at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It’s the first time the two teams will meet since 2010 and after it was confirmed, the manager admitted he was happy it was not one of the two English sides as they meet often enough.

“Of course it’s better to have the second leg at home but it depends obviously to the first leg, how you play there,” Klopp added.

“That’s what we have to try, that we create a basis there that we can use then Anfield in the second leg.

“I was just happy it’s not an English club, not only because of the quality but because of the competition as well, we play them often enough during a season and it’s good if you play somebody else in the European competitions.”

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