LIVERPOOL, England — Jurgen Klopp has said Liverpool “don’t have a chance” against Bayern Munich on Tuesday if they allow themselves to look ahead to Sunday’s clash with Manchester United.
Liverpool host Bundesliga champions Bayern in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie, with a trip to Old Trafford that could have significant implications on the Premier League title race then awaiting them.
“Game by game, you cannot think about it in a different way,” the manager told a news conference on Monday.
“If you ask Manchester United when they face Chelsea [in the FA Cup on Monday] if they already think about our game, I don’t think so.
“We have had only tough months in this season. There was not one month where you thought: ‘Oh good, only these opponents.’ It’s always tough and we have to be ready for that.
“We have to be focused 100 percent on the game tomorrow night, otherwise we don’t have a chance. That’s absolutely sure.”
Klopp said he was aware that the preference for Liverpool supporters this season was to win the Premier League, but stressed his side would do their best to lift both a first domestic title since 1990 and the Champions League.
“For all Liverpool fans, it is the Premier League. That’s clear — we know that,” he said. “But now we play Champions League and they all expect that we do our best. That’s what we do.
“The only thing we can do is to give it our all and play very passionate football, very lively football — the football we expect when we come to Anfield.
“We expect a good atmosphere, but we know about the part we have to play. We have to create an atmosphere on the pitch and make it easier for the people. But it will be outstanding tomorrow night.”
If Lovren is unable to play, Klopp will be forced to field a makeshift centre-half alongside Joel Matip, with Virgil van Dijk suspended.
“If Fabinho plays [there] in the Champions League against Bayern Munich it’s not an easy job,” he said. “But we thought it makes sense that we don’t leave our last row alone defending against Bayern, [so] it all depends how we defend in general.
“There will be a lot of moments where we have to defend and we worked on that, we tried to work on that because we respect the quality of Bayern Munich a lot.”