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Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool fans “on top of their game” vs. Villarreal

Jurgen Klopp and Jordan Henderson have called on the Liverpool fans to rise to the occasion and help raise the intensity against Villarreal on Wednesday night.

The Reds host their Spanish opponents in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals this week, with the opportunity to gain a big advantage in their push for the final.

Due to the outcome of the draw, Liverpool are at home for the first leg, which is widely considered the less-favourable route due to the impact of supporters in gaining a result in the decider.

But for Klopp, the opportunity now is to use the Anfield crowd to produce as strong a lead possible before the trip to El Madrigal in a week’s time.

“We know that when we go to Villarreal, whichever result we get tomorrow night, it will be an incredibly emotional atmosphere there,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“And that’s what we have to create tomorrow night as well. That’s how it is.

“It’s nice if you play away first, then you have the result and you can fight for it at home with your crowd. But who cares? That’s how it is.

“We have to make sure that we really are completely on top of our game, everybody in the stadium.

“Our supporters are smart supporters, they know and they watch football, they know that Villarreal is really strong.

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)

“But there are moments where we will suffer tomorrow night, definitely, I know that now already.

“That’s what we have to be ready for. There is no need to get nervous or whatever, that’s how it is.

“But we can make them suffer as well and that’s what we have to do, all together.

“So this advantage now, first at home, we have to use. I don’t know which result we will get – whichever result we will get, we will work with it and fight at Villarreal.

“Because it means everything to us to reach the Champions League final, and that’s again what we have to show.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, April 26, 2022: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson during a press conference at Anfield ahead of the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg game between Liverpool FC and Villarreal CF. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jordan Henderson joined Klopp for pre-match media duties, and the captain was asked to reflect on his manager’s words.

“Anfield is always special, European nights are always incredible,” he explained.

“But yes, hopefully that’s the case again tomorrow night. I’m sure it will be.

“But we need to perform to the levels we’re capable of to get the crowd at that level as well, it’s a two-way thing.

“The crowd, I’m sure, will be there and we need to make sure we’re there as well. I’m sure we will be.”

He added: “It will be another really, really tough test as any semi-final in the Champions League would be, and we need to be at 100 percent if we want to get anything from the game.”

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