Jurgen Klopp reacts to Europa League draw – Atalanta “are uncomfortable” to play

Having drawn Atalanta in the Europa League quarter-finals, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp gave his reaction, admitting the opponents “are uncomfortable to play against.”

The Europa League has been pretty plain sailing for Liverpool this season; they won their group with ease and beat Sparta Prague 11-2 in the last 16 of the competition.

The Reds have now been drawn to play Atalanta, and will face Benfica or Marseille in the semi-finals, should the Reds progress. This also opens up the possibility for a Liverpool vs. Bayer Leverkusen final.

First, though, the Reds must beat Atalanta, and Klopp is going to ensure his players go into the tie alert to the dangers they can pose.

The boss commented: “Tricky, Atalanta. [It’s] not like I’ve watched them 100 times, but they are uncomfortable to play against and very well organised. I didn’t expect any easy opponent.

“I [have a] lot of respect for what Atalanta is doing in the last years so yeah, [they’re] very consistent.”

The Europa League quarter-finals will take place on April 11 and April 18, with the Reds playing at Anfield in the first leg.

After that, the potential semi-finals would see the Reds play away in the first leg. That game would be on May 9, with the second leg a week later.

The Reds have played Atalanta just twice in their history, their two games in the 2020/21 Champions League group stage. Playing behind closed doors due to COVID-19, Liverpool lost 2-0 at home but won 5-0 away.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 25, 2020: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker and his team-mates line-up before the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Liverpool FC and Atalanta BC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In the final, if Liverpool were to reach it, Klopp’s side would play in red as the designated home team on May 22.

On the other half of the draw, AC Milan are up against Roma, with the winners playing West Ham or Leverkusen in the last four.

The latter of those four teams are looking the strongest, currently, though it did take an injury-time comeback to knock Qarabag out on Thursday.

The prospect of a final between Klopp and Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso, the favourite to take over from Liverpool’s boss, is a mouth-watering one for neutrals. However, a Liverpool win would be no foregone conclusion.