Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool’s Champions League draw is “more good than bad” but refutes the view that his side are favourites to progress from Group E.
The Reds have been drawn against LaLiga side Sevilla, Russia’s Spartak Moscow and Slovenian champions Maribor for their first Champions League campaign since 2014-15.
Liverpool were knocked out at the group stage that season and Klopp, a finalist with Borussia Dortmund in 2012-13, knows his team must compete for points both home and away.
However, the German did concede it was a boost to avoid the competition’s heavyweights.
“There are groups with Barcelona, Bayern, Juventus and Real Madrid, and not to get them is of course more good than bad,” Klopp said.
“But I do not think that after this long way we should think about the opponents. We have to go and prepare.
“We are not the favourite in the tournament, we are not the favourite in the group – we are just a challenger.
“The challenger should be 100 per cent concentrated and give everything, and that is what we will try to do.”
Liverpool booked their group stage berth with a 6-3 aggregate victory over Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim, sealed courtesy of a 4-2 win at Anfield on Wednesday.
The hosts put the tie beyond doubt with a thrilling three-goal surge inside the opening 21 minutes, leading Klopp to suggest other teams may fear Liverpool.
“In this moment, for sure. But it depends on our performance,” he said.
“We had a nice sign [against Hoffenheim] – the first 20 minutes were probably part of the best pieces of football I have been part of.
“But we have to replicate this. We have to do it again and again and again. Then we can be successful.”
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