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Rotation, Anfield & broadcast frustration – 4 key things from Klopp’s pre-Benfica press conference

Jurgen Klopp stressed the importance of focusing only on Benfica’s visit on Wednesday and using the power of Anfield to reach the Champions League semi-finals.

Here are four key things the boss said as he looked ahead to Wednesday’s game:

 

Fresh legs incoming?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 10, 2022: Liverpool's Diogo Jota (3rd from L) celebrates with team-mates after scoring his side's first equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There are likely to be changes on Wednesday as Klopp looks to keep his squad fresh, a squad that remains fully fit during this relentless run of games.

“The next game has no influence on the lineup for tomorrow night, but the last game has. We have to see, a really super-intense schedule.

“No one injured as far as I know, in this moment but we need to have a look at who is fresh enough for this game.

“We have a bigger squad, high quality, all fit — which is the first time since I’m here that that is the case — more experienced, quite a few boys have been here since I [arrived], it’s the strongest team.”

It could see the likes of Ibrahima Konate, Naby Keita, Curtis Jones, Luis Diaz and Roberto Firmino come in.

 

“Bad news for Benfica, it’s Anfield”

Jurgen Klopp banner on the Kop, Liverpool players, Anfield (Image: A Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

The Portuguese side have a job to do with Liverpool holding a 3-1 advantage and while Klopp does not know exactly what they will do, he knows what he would if the Reds were in their position.

“I don’t know [what they will do], but I know what I would do: I would go for it, full throttle.

“Put us under pressure, try to score early. If not, score a bit later and that what we expect.

“Bad news for Benfica, it’s Anfield. They not only play against us but the whole crowd. It’s cool but we hope we can use that.

“We want to be the one team that nobody wants to play against, hopefully, we can be that tomorrow night.”

There’s nothing quite like a night under the Anfield lights!

 

No wonder no one has won quadruple

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, April 12, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during a press conference at Anfield ahead of the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg game between Liverpool FC and SL Benfica. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The quadruple remains in reach for Liverpool but the manager did not hold back in why it has never been done before, with the broadcasters and scheduling not helping English sides.

“You cannot go for four trophies, you are part of four competitions and we are thankfully good enough to not go out early,” he said.

“But the fixture list we have now, we play tomorrow – the only game I’m concerned about – then we play Saturday [vs.] City, then we play United, Everton – then if we get through tomorrow we have a semi-final.

“Then BT and the Premier League thought they’d give us Newcastle away at 12.30pm. The schedule and how people use the ‘fame’ in the moment, they couldn’t care less.

If, if, if we play a Champions League semi-final, find me another league in the world and another broadcaster that puts on at a 12.30pm, throwing a stick between the legs. Why would you do that?

“That’s why it’s so difficult and never happens, because nobody cares.”

 

Diaz joy

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 10, 2022: Liverpool's Luis Díaz during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There were more positive words for a certain Luis Diaz, who has injected a welcome spark into the side and could get another chance at Anfield on Wednesday.

“I didn’t know how much Luis Diaz enjoys training. Not sure I have seen someone like that, I said before he cannot stop smiling. Just can’t stop, crazy.

“How quick he would adapt? No, we didn’t know that. All the players we’ve signed the last few years were happy when they arrived here. It’s not the worst place in the world!

“You can see they are flying, it depends how long they will take. Luis is here two months now and it’s rare, how much he enjoys training, it’s cool.”

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