Porto vs Liverpool preview: Jurgen Klopp warns tie is far from over
Liverpool lead Porto 2-0 in the Champions League quarter-final
Last Updated: 17/04/19 6:07am
Jurgen Klopp has warned his Liverpool players their Champions League quarter-final tie is far from over as they prepare to face Porto in the second leg on Wednesday.
Porto suffered their heaviest ever home defeat in European competition against Liverpool in last season's Champions League, with the Reds winning 5-0 in a last-16 tie.
Liverpool head to Portugal with a 2-0 advantage from the first leg after goals from Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino, but Klopp knows the tie is far from over.
He told the club's official website: "It's clear, 2-0, what would we do? That's the simplest question to ask: we would go for everything.
"If we were 2-0 down and going into the home leg, would we think we were out? No way. That's exactly what Porto are thinking.
"They always have a high intense game in the highest intense atmosphere. From the first kick they will go with a clear direction.
"We can compare it a little bit to the [Manchester] City game last year when we were 3-0 up and everybody thought, 'halfway through' or whatever.
"We go there to win the game, that's the plan. It's not easy, we know that, but we should not think about anything else because that's always the aim."
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Porto have lost the first leg of a European Cup knockout tie by two or more goals on six previous occasions, and on all six of those ties, they have been eliminated from the competition.
Sergio Conceicao was ineligible to play for the club in the famous 2004 final due to having already played for Lazio in the first group stage.
Having been denied the chance to experience the glory of lifting the trophy as a player, the 44-year-old is confident of overturning a two-goal deficit at home - but he knows the size of the task his side face.
He said on Tuesday: "Liverpool are all about the way that I think about football. On many occasions, they have shown themselves to be the best team in the world.
"We have to make up a two-goal deficit against a side who are very strong on the wings and on the counter-attack.
"The balance in our attacks is going to be crucial. The coaching staff have devised a path, a plan for the game. Now it's just down to the players to carry it out on the pitch. They are the ones who have carried out everything good that has happened.
"I've got some doubts over my first XI, but there cannot be any greater motivation than playing in a quarter-finals and potentially completing an historic comeback."
Porto are boosted by the return of Pepe and Hector Herrera after both missed the Anfield clash through suspension.
Liverpool welcome back Andy Robertson to their squad after he missed the first leg through suspension.
Klopp will be without Dejan Lovren, who misses out through illness, meaning Joel Matip is likely to play alongside Virgil van Dijk once more.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has also not travelled as he steps up his rehabilitation at Melwood.
- Liverpool have never lost a European match against FC Porto in seven previous encounters (W4 D3 L0), keeping three successive clean sheets against them.
- Since the start of last season, Liverpool have won three of their four away Champions League knockout games, only losing to Roma in last season's semi-final (4-2).
- FC Porto are the only remaining side in the Champions League to have won 100% of their home games in the competition this season (4/4). Indeed, Porto last won five or more straight home games in the competition between October 1998 and December 1999 (run of six).
- Liverpool have progressed from all nine of their previous two-legged European ties under manager Jurgen Klopp (four in the 2015-16 Europa League, one 2017-18 Champions League play-off and four Champions League knockout stage ties since the start of last season).
- Sadio Mane scored a hat-trick for Liverpool against Porto at Estádio do Dragão in last season's Champions League; only Luiz Adriano v Bate Borisov and Cristiano Ronaldo against Atlético de Madrid have ever scored more than one hat-trick against an opponent in the Champions League, while no player has ever scored two away from home against one club.
- Since the start of the 2017-18 tournament, Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino has both scored and assisted in five different Champions League matches, more than any other player in this time.
- Moussa Marega has scored in all four of FC Porto's home Champions League matches this season.
In reality, Liverpool could make changes to the team in this one, but they do not want to take advantage, especially if they go a goal down.
Mohamed Salah is back in form and Sadio Mane scored again at the weekend, while Roberto Firmino has been the best of the attacking players recently. He may not take any chances but he may change the midfield.
It will be awkward but Liverpool will get the job done and be comfortable towards the end in this one.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-1 (11/2 with Sky Bet)