Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes you need confidence to be successful against Manchester City and will tell his team they have all the quality they need to beat the Premier League champions elect.
The first leg of their hugely-anticipated Champions League quarter-final at Anfield sees City return to the scene of their only league defeat so far this season when they lost 4-3 in arguably the game of the season in January.
Klopp has won more matches (six) against Pep Guardiola than any other manager and so obviously has a method which works well against the Catalan’s full-on possession game.
But if there is a secret to combating Guardiola then the German was not prepared to air it publicly.
“We beat Man City two months ago but we knew before the game it is possible, if unbelievably difficult to do it, so now we know again it is possible and difficult to do it again,” he said.
“If you have a home game hoping for a clean sheet against Man City does not make much sense.
“If you have to defend against them 95 minutes 100 per cent they they will have a shot on target.
“You need a fantastic goalkeeper and fantastic defence and fantastic organisation and you need the balls to use the space they give you.
“We cannot avoid everything but with our skills we can cause them problems and they have the same chance so that makes the game interesting.”
Despite their storied past, Liverpool have won just one trophy since 2006, although Klopp did take them to two finals without success in his first season in 2016-17.
The enormity of their all-Premier League quarter-final brings back memories of the famous 2005 occasion against Chelsea, but the Reds boss insists that has to remain in the past.
“I like all these things but this club is already full of history and we have to write our own,” he added.
“I meet people who can tell me each goal Liverpool scored 37 years ago. This team we need to be proud of our history but we need to create our own history.
“I did that a lot in the past with my former teams: at one point you need to do your own things. The boys are ready and are really looking forward to it.”
As if Klopp did not have enough to concern himself with, he revealed preparations for next week’s second leg have not gone to plan.
Ideally Liverpool would have trained at the Etihad Stadium the night before the match and then had a closed session on the morning of Tuesday’s game.
However, the club have been unable to secure a behind-closed-doors pitch on which to practise and so may end up remaining on Merseyside and travelling to Manchester on the day of the game.
“We would’ve liked to have trained next week ahead of the away game as well but we didn’t get a pitch for the next morning because no Manchester club could give us a pitch for the next morning,” Klopp said.
Press Association Sport understands Liverpool did contact Manchester United to ask about the availability of the Red Devils’ The Cliff training ground, where Napoli trained ahead of their tie against City earlier this season.
However, the complex in Salford, used by United’s youth teams and for football in the community events, was already being used for the dates Liverpool requested. The club are not aware of any enquiries being made about using the first-team’s Carrington training complex or Old Trafford.