Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool-Manchester United is 'mother of all games'
By Stephen Turner
Last Updated: 10/03/16 9:01am
Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool fans to take the Anfield atmosphere to new levels in "the mother of all games" against Manchester United on Thursday.
The two great north-west rivals meet twice in eight days for a place in the quarter-finals of the Europa League, Merseyside staging the first leg this week.
And on the eve of the game Klopp has left Reds fans in no doubt he expects the stadium to live up to its reputation for hosting great European nights.
"Everybody needs to be in the best shape and the crowd is involved. I believe in the influence of the crowd," the Liverpool boss said at his pre-match press conference.
"We do it for ourselves but we also do it for them. We can show we can create a better atmosphere in the first leg than Man United in the second leg.
"It's a big part of football. Hopefully tomorrow we set an absolutely new level."
Klopp experienced the intensity of the Borussia Dortmund-Schalke derby during his time in Germany and had a first taste of one of English football's most bitterly-contested fixtures when United won at Liverpool in January.
"Games like this are the mother of all football games and that's what you want," he said. "We all love football. In each and every region of the world you have games like this. Maybe not with as big names.
"Liverpool v United [is] one of best I can imagine. For me to be a part of it I still can't get enough. It's the best thing imaginable."
And the German is confident Liverpool are in shape to threaten United manager Louis van Gaal's 100 per cent record over four derby games.
He said: "I was only part of one of the last four games. We didn't play our absolute best but we didn't deserve to lose. It's pretty close. We are both in a good moment.
"I don't believe in enemies in football. I believe in real, real, real opponents. I don't have any problems with Van Gaal but I really don't want him to win."
United come into the tie with four wins from five games and less focus on the future of Van Gaal, and Klopp said: "He's one of the most successful managers in the world. That's for sure.
"Very, very successful and I'm pleased for him that he could change the situation a bit. [Critics] say he has absolutely no idea about football but that's not true."