Klopp: Strong sides means Europa League will be hard to win

Date published: Friday 11th December 2015 8:24

Jurgen Klopp: Knows the EL will be tough to win

Jurgen Klopp: Knows the EL will be tough to win

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes the Europa League will be taken more seriously when the knockout phase begins in the new year because of the quality of teams left in the competition.

The Reds got the point they needed to top Group B, from which they had already qualified, with a dull goalless draw in Sion.

Securing top spot will help slightly in terms of the opposition Klopp’s side are likely to get in Monday’s seeded draw.

Potential opponents are Klopp’s former club Borussia Dortmund, defending champions Sevilla, Gary Neville’s Valencia, Villarreal, Fiorentina, Galatasaray, Fenerbahce, Marseille, Saint-Etienne, Sporting Lisbon, Anderlecht, Sparta Prague, Shakhtar Donetsk, Midtjylland and Augsburg.

And while the German believes the quality overall makes it a difficult competition, he was pleased they have given themselves the best opportunity – especially considering when he took over in mid-October the club had two points from their opening two matches and looked in danger of failing to get out of the group.

“We wanted to be first after this game and that is what we did,” he said.

“A few weeks ago it was far away from us that we could reach this place but we did it and it is really good.

“We will see how important it (first place) is – there are a lot of good teams in second place and also teams from the Champions League.

“Everyone will have to change their mind about this tournament now as everyone will see it is something like a small Champions League.”

Klopp was just relived to put European football to bed until February and return home with no new injury problems from playing on a partially-frozen pitch to add further complications to what is a crowded fixture list over the next seven weeks.

“It was not our best football and although it is an outdoor sport, frozen ground is for other sports,” he added.

“Of course in each tournament at this level there should be heating for the ground – that is not good [there was none] – but now we have played here and if we come here again it will maybe be April and I hope it will not be that cold.

“We saw the pitch and we knew what can happen on a pitch like this but as a professional footballer and especially as a manager you cannot talk about the pitch.

“You have to ignore it, try to take it and use it and the only thing that helps in a situation like this is concentration: if you are really ready and prepared and concentrated then usually nothing happens.

“I am really satisfied, no-one is injured and they were very focused and concentrated on the game.”

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Home Forums Klopp: Strong sides means Europa League will be hard to win

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by shanksy shanksy 11 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #733652
    James Marshment
    James Marshment
    Keymaster

    Jurgen Klopp says the Europa League will be taken seriously when the knockout phase begins due to the quality of teams in the competition.

    [See the full post at: Klopp: Strong sides means Europa League will be hard to win]

    #733748

    Paxman
    Participant

    It will have to be, there are some seriously good sides that finished 2nd in their groups, Dortmund, Villareal, Fenebache, Marseille, Sporting, Florentina, Sparta Prague, and Aderlecht. Then there are 4 of the teams that drop out of the CL in the second pot, what is the betting Liverpool vs Dortmund & Utd vs Valencia?

    #733997

    nine nine nine
    Moderator

    It’s called managing expectations,there are some good teams left in the competition and the next round will all be down to the draw but none of the teams left in the competition are way above Liverpool’s level and one of the PL teams have an excellent chance of winning the EL this season imo.

    #734000

    nine nine nine
    Moderator

    ….Why not Liverpool!

    #734129

    Paxman
    Participant

    I don’t think Klopp was managing expectations, I think he was just saying there will be no place for fielding weaker teams in the knockout stages.

    #734318

    nine nine nine
    Moderator

    Pax, I think Klopp is right it will be a tough competition to win now and I am sure Klopp will not select weak teams for the knock out stages too and in fairness to Klopp he has selected preety strong sides for the EL from the start.

    Liverpool v Dortmund and Valencia v United would be great ties for the neutral and both PL clubs have the capability to go all the way imo as do Spurs.

    Best of luck to all three PL clubs we could do with the co efficient points.

    #734948
    shanksy
    shanksy
    Participant

    Spot on 999, if one (or all) of the three English teams left take it seriously there is a good chance to win it. As paxman points out though, there are some continental heavyweights in there and, apart from Chelsea, English teams don’t tend to reach the latter stages very often.

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