Klopp's Anfield excitement ahead of first home game

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp during yesterday's press conference. Klopp's first home game in charge will be against Rubin Kazan in the Europa League.
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp during yesterday's press conference. Klopp's first home game in charge will be against Rubin Kazan in the Europa League.PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES

LONDON • Juergen Klopp is looking forward to experiencing the Anfield atmosphere when he manages his maiden Liverpool home game against Rubin Kazan in the Europa League today.

"I can't say much about the atmosphere at Anfield but I want to go there and see it and feel it," he told a press conference yesterday.

"(It will be a) special atmosphere and I hope we can take this atmosphere and transport it into the game."

The German led the Reds out for the first time in the Premier League last Saturday and managed a tough 0-0 draw at Tottenham Hotspur.

While he hinted that he could turn to some youngsters today, in part due to a lengthy injury list, Klopp insisted that victory in Europe's secondary club competition could be a springboard to greater things.

"The Europa League is a good chance to get a better feeling," he said. "The group is quite open. A win would be a big step in the right direction. Tottenham felt good, it was a step in the right direction. It wasn't perfect but we were happy.

"We had a good meeting after the game, we did the next step and now this is a completely different game.

"Tottenham for the first game was a little bit tough. Now we have another opponent - (one that is) not in the best situation."

Rubin, bottom of Group B on one point, have also changed their manager since the group-stage draw was made.

Valeri Chaly took over as caretaker boss from Rinat Bilyaletdinov last month after the Kazan-based side lost six of their first seven league games. But they come into this game having beaten FC Ufa 3-1 in the Russian Premier League.

Liverpool are second in the group after two fixtures, having drawn both their games against Bordeaux and Sion.

They will be without striker Daniel Sturridge, who is targeting a return on Sunday, when Liverpool host Southampton in the Premier League.

Klopp indicated that forward Roberto Firmino, striker Christian Benteke and defender Dejan Lovren have returned to training but are not starting options. Danny Ings and Joe Gomez remain long-term absentees, while the likes of Jordan Henderson remain sidelined.

"If all the players are fit, we can think about (rotating) but that's not our situation," said the Liverpool manager. "We know a little bit more about the young players. It was good what we saw. We will see who will be with us tomorrow."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LIVERPOOL V RUBIN KAZAN

Singtel TV Ch112, tomorrow, 3.05am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2015, with the headline 'Klopp's Anfield excitement ahead of first home game'. Print Edition | Subscribe