Saturday 17 March 2018

Old Trafford 'hate' will not frighten Liverpool, insists confident Klopp

Chris Bascombe

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he will have no fears about walking into a cauldron of "hate" at Old Trafford as his side look to finish the job against Manchester United tonight.

Anfield was at its intimidating best when Klopp's side secured a 2-0 first-leg lead, and Louis van Gaal has called on United fans to show the same hostility in an effort to salvage their Europa League hopes.

"When all the people hate you it is no problem, it is loud and I don't understand what the crowd is singing so it is pretty easy for me," said Klopp.

"In Liverpool it was different from the first second but if we had played poor I am pretty sure it would not have been too easy. We will decide how good the atmosphere is with the performance. How many Liverpool fans? Three thousand? That is enough. It is not the Manchester United crowd versus the Liverpool crowd, it is the teams against each other."

Klopp has never led a team to Old Trafford, but has plenty of experience against Van Gaal's sides and is preparing for his third encounter since taking over at Anfield. He does not believe United have many surprises - especially as Marouane Fellaini will be available despite his altercation with Emre Can last week.

"I am absolutely an optimistic guy. Before the game I always have the best feelings. The problem is I have lost a few games after having very good feelings before the game," said Klopp.

"This is the third time we have played against Man United. We have always been in the game. That is an important sign for us. The world doesn't change overnight. It is absolutely clear there is a chance for Man United, 100pc. That is football. Everything can happen."

Fellaini escaping a ban was a relief to Van Gaal, and although Klopp did not complain he referenced an incident from the Champions League when he was suspended for arguing with a fourth official.

Klopp said: "Surprised? No. What can I say? I heard after the game this was possible. It was a situation with maybe different views. A lot of people at Uefa have looked at it and said 'OK, that is a normal challenge, that's absolutely OK.' They gave me two games for my face in Naples. But that was long ago."

Van Gaal said United believe they could overturn the two-goal deficit. "We have to believe in it," he said. "I have spoken only with the players about the victory and we have to believe in it. We have to deliver.

"We only have to think we beat Liverpool - and beat them 2-0 not 3-0 because we can do it in extra-time. We have to do it in 90 minutes, 2-0 and then we have a chance to beat them and go to the next round. It is possible. We don't think in conceding a goal.

"We think about making goals. We have done that against Midtjylland, the last opponent before Liverpool." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Manchester United v Liverpool

BT Sport Europe & Setanta Ireland, 8.05

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