Jürgen Klopp believes Liverpool cannot underestimate FC Porto after 'strange' first-leg
(Getty Images)

Jürgen Klopp believes Liverpool cannot underestimate FC Porto after 'strange' first-leg

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp believes his team are determined to not underestimate the Portuguese leaders as the Reds host them at Anfield tonight.

Joshua Kerr

Liverpool are one game away from the quarter-finals of the Champions League as they await the visit of FC Porto to Anfield.

Jürgen  Klopp's side are at the halfway stage of their last-16 tie, the Reds hold a 5-0 advantage over their Portuguese opponents, Sadio Mane scored a magnificent hat-trick with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino also on target at the Estadio do Dragao stadium last month.

Porto face an almost impossible task but will be looking to give a better account of themselves as they travel to Merseyside looking to overturn a five-goal deficit.

However, the hosts did have chances of their own on the night, while Liverpool's clinical edge up front was evident by the fact they had six shots on target and five found the net.

Sérgio Conceição's Porto side have won each of their four league fixtures since the Champions League game, and Klopp is taking nothing for granted come Tuesday.

He told Liverpoolfc.com: “They are [dangerous]. If you get a real knock then I think the intention and desire to strike back is even bigger. That’s what I would expect. They want to show [themselves].

“The game was a strange one; yes, it was very good but we were as effective as ever. We had six shots on target and five were in. That doesn’t happen too often.

Klopp continued: “We played a few more wonderful pieces of football and yes, we could even have scored more – but not because of the quality of the opponent. We had that day. To have a day like that you need to be 100 per cent ready.

“But they had two big chances in very decisive moments that they could have scored. It’s football and the only thing I really want to see is that we try to play our best and win the game. Then we can think about all the other things.

In the moment, it’s because human beings are like that – we need a fighting atmosphere," The German boss added. "People come and maybe a few thought, ‘oh, I have tickets for the rematch’. Forget that. Go there and let’s really work all together to win the second half of the last-16 tie.

“Only the first half is over. Let’s go for the second half.”

The Champions League is 'where we belong'

FC Porto’s visit to Merseyside marks the first Champions League knockout match at Anfield since 2009, that being a 4-0 mauling over current holders Real Madrid on an unforgettable European night.

Liverpool's German manager and his staff are overseeing a tie at this stage of the tournament for the first time since his Borrusia Dortmund days.

But with Liverpool the highest scorers in the competition – with 28 goals – and yet to taste defeat, the boss feels that the Reds deserve to be in the last eight.

“I think it’s where we belong,” said the German.

“It’s not that I’m surprised. I knew how hard it was but when we went through to the group stage and had these games it was always a target to go to the knockout stages. It was always the target not to end in the last 16; you want to go to the quarter-finals and the semis and until the end.

“It’s what we are all doing. If you see the teams involved, we are not even through and you think, ‘wow’. It’s a wonderful competition.

“Since we have been here we have had a few wonderful European nights. When you hear the first whistle, it’s not important if it’s the Champions League or Europa League. It’s football, so let’s go for it.

“But for the club, of course, it’s important we are in the Champions League and that we qualify again for the Champions League. That’s the situation and what we enjoy. But it’s hard work and there’s still a lot of work to do”, Klopp continued.

FC Porto have been very impressive domestically this season as the Dragons sit top of the Primeira League by five points after beating Sporting Lisbon 2-1 on Friday.

They remain unbeaten in the league and have lost just twice all season, defeats coming against Beşiktaş in the group stages and of course Liverpool last month. 

The Champions League knockout-stage second-leg will kick-off on Tuesday at 19:45 pm.