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Jurgen Klopp expecting big challenge for Liverpool at Rubin Kazan

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp looking forward to his first match at Anfield
Image: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says it won't be easy for his players in Kazan

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is expecting a big test when his side faces Rubin Kazan in the Europa League on Thursday.

The Reds have made a slow start in the competition this season, drawing all three of their games in Group B.

Liverpool drew 1-1 against 10 men in the reverse fixture in what was Klopp's first game at Anfield, and the manager is wary of the threat posed by the Russian side having seen them close up.

Rubin Kazan v Liverpool preview
Rubin Kazan v Liverpool preview

All you need to know ahead of the Europa League Group B clash on Thursday evening...

"It's not always the biggest advantage to play 11 against 10 and Rubin Kazan did well on that evening, of course," said Klopp. "As I remember, we had our chances and the best moments from Kazan were for sure in the first half when they were 11 against 11.

"It's not a problem, it's football. We know that it's pretty hard tomorrow so that's why we are here, that's why for us the Europa League is a very, very big challenge because all of these teams in this tournament have their targets.

"But we have our targets and that's the only thing I'm interested in."

Emre Can of Liverpool scores a goal to level the scores at 1-1 during the UEFA Europa League Group B match v Rubin Kazan
Image: Emre Can levels the scores at 1-1 during the reverse fixture at Anfield

Klopp has not left behind any fit first-team players, a policy that differs somewhat from previous boss Brendan Rodgers.

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And after travelling one leg of the gruelling 5,000-mile round trip to the Republic of Tatarstan, Klopp has been impressed by the facilities awaiting him and his players.

"We are not here for visiting Kazan and I hope you will see that tomorrow," said Klopp. "(But) it's very comfortable. The dressing room is much bigger than at Liverpool!

"I haven't seen the pitch and that's the most important thing in the stadium. We have to go out and see how it is and train, then we'll know more about it.

"From outside, what we could we see when we drove here, it's very nice."

Tough challenge

Rubin have not lost at home to an English side in three matches, beating Wigan, Chelsea and Tottenham by one-goal margins.

Klopp stopped short of signalling out individuals his side should watch out for, preferring to target the collective.

He continued: "When I prepare my team for a very important game, like it is tomorrow, I only watch the game and the style of the other team and not a single player, so I don't think about one player.

"They have a few young players in the squad that I didn't know before, but now I know them."

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