Jurgen Klopp has rejected the idea that Liverpool were given the most favourable draw available after being pitted against FC Porto in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Sergio Conceicao’s side, along with Ajax, were seen as the weakest of the competition ahead of the draw, however Klopp insisted the tie is not a foregone conclusion.
“What can I say? It’s Porto and we’ve played there already and we know how good we had to be last year,” he said.
“The result in the end was a strange one; it was very good for us, of course, but it was a strange one. In the second leg, we saw the character of Porto and the quality they have.
“I could not be further away from thinking it’s the best draw because it isn’t – it is just the draw, it’s the opponent we have to prepare for and that’s all we will be thinking about from when we start preparing for the game.
“We have a specialist for Porto in our own team in Pep Lijnders being there in the past – and he always speaks with so much respect for that club. We will have plenty of information and that’s what you need before a game, but you still have to play it. Now we know it, let’s prepare.”
Liverpool met Porto in the last-16 of last season’s tournament, progressing 5-0 on aggregate after a thumping away performance that saw Sadio Mane net a hat-trick.
Asked whether Liverpool could take inspiration from that result, Klopp said: “One-hundred per cent. Porto were not on my ‘wish list’, but now they are our opponent, it is how it is and we have to play them.
“The first thing you have to do is make sure everybody respects the opponent the right way – and we will do that 100 per cent. We will know about the quality of Porto and then we have to play the game. Our supporters are brilliant at that, respecting the opponent.
“I am happy for them because it is a nice trip, a nice city, and the weather will be good then, which is always good for English people! There’s nothing else to say.”
The Reds will face the winners of Barcelona vs Man United should they progress to the semi-finals.