'No doubt about it' - Jurgen Klopp makes Champions League claim about Liverpool's group

By Paul Gorst

Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool's Champions League group is the toughest he has faced during his six years at Anfield.

The Reds were drawn in Group B alongside Portuguese giants Porto, La Liga champions Atletico Madrid and seven-time winners of the competition AC Milan.

It is Milan who are up first for Liverpool as they get set to host the Serie A side at Anfield on Wednesday for what is just the third meeting of two famous names who share 13 European Cups.

Klopp says he is pleased with the stature of the clubs in the group alongside his, branding it a "proper Champions League group".

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But the 2019 winner of Europe's premier competition believes his charges will be given their sternest test yet on the continent.

He said: "This is the strongest group we have had since I have been at Liverpool, there is no doubt about that.

"In 2013 at Dortmund, we had a real ‘Champions League’ group as well.

"We had Man City, Real Madrid and Ajax, which was a proper group where people said ‘my God, how will we get through?’

"What does it do for the competition? It kicks out two really good teams, it will deliver one really strong football team into the Europa League as well, that’s for sure!

"I never understand when people talk about changes to the Champions League.

"I like it how it is, and this group obviously shows that there are no games where people think ‘do I really want to watch that?’

"This group will be exciting from the first second to the last second. Nothing will be decided early in this group.

"That keeps us on our toes, and in between these games we have a very important competition as well, playing Premier League and League Cup, hopefully FA Cup later in the season.

"But it’s exactly what we wanted, we play Milan, Atletico, Porto, unbelievable stadiums, great crowds, passionate fanbases.

"It’s exactly how we like football, and now we have it, so let’s deal with it.

"[It will be] Difficult! Thank God for all four teams. I don’t think when we saw the draw, any of the teams said ‘wow, what a great group!’

"It’s a tough group, come on, we don't have to deny it.

"Atletico, wow. Porto, usually champions or second in Portugal, so a top, top team. AC Milan, big history and in their best moment for years.

"So that's the proper Champions League.

"We worked really hard to be a part of this, and that’s what we get. We are part of the Champions League.

"There's no game where people don't think about the result or whatever."

After 18 months of no European action for supporters to enjoy at Anfield, Klopp is eager to welcome the return of a full house as Liverpool host their first Champions League game in front of supporters since March 2020.

"It’s all about getting enough points to get through, and we don’t want to waste time with that. Let’s start tomorrow night," Klopp added.

"It’s a long time since we had a Champions League game at home, since we had the opportunity to experience the atmosphere Anfield is able to produce in the Premier League.

"We spoke a lot in the past about European nights at Anfield, I can’t wait to experience that again! It will be great."

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