20 Nov Jurgen Klopp: It’s crunch time for Liverpool
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits it is now crunch time for his side in the Champions League.
They top Group E and a win against Sevilla in Spain will see them qualify for the knockout stages with a match to spare.
However, their hosts have an impressive home record – they have not lost at the Sanchez Pizjuan since November last year – and it will not be straightforward.
“In the group stage you cannot choose where you get the points from but when you get to the end the more decisive games are,” said Klopp, who is still frustrated at dropping two points at home to the Spaniards due to a late equaliser back in September.
“It felt quite average when we conceded a goal at home to Sevilla (to draw 2-2) and if we had not conceded this goal the situation would have been even better.
“This is ‘the’ game, against Sevilla in Seville. They are a very experienced football-playing team and that’s the Champions League.”
The Sanchez Pizchuan is renowned for its atmosphere and Klopp knows that is something his players will have to handle and quieten if they are to succeed.
“The atmosphere here is really famous and it is our job to make the game not that enjoyable – other teams try it when they come to Anfield,” he added.
“I have played twice here with two teams – Mainz and Dortmund – and it (the atmosphere) depends on the performance.
“But we are not here to enjoy the atmosphere, we are here to get a result.”
Winger Mohamed Salah, the Premier League’s top scorer with nine, will be key to Liverpool’s success or otherwise in Seville.
Asked whether the £38million summer signing had exceded expectations with 14 goals in 18 appearances in all competitions Klopp said: “He has reached them at least, that’s clear.
“I like Mo and his goals but we don’t have to talk about that as it’s in the past. I’m more interested in his statistics tomorrow night.
“It was not luck that he scored, he gets fantastic goals. He could build confidence off this.”
Liverpool travelled without injured centre-back Joel Matip, who should recover from a groin problem in time for Saturday’s visit of Chelsea.
Midfielder Adam Lallana, who has yet to play a competitive match after a pre-season thigh injury, was on the plane, however, but may still have to bide his time.
“He is getting nearer and nearer, but we need him for the rest of the season and not for the next weeks,” Klopp told liverpoolfc.com.
“He is really knocking on the door and it’s fantastic that he is back. It’s great.”