March 5, 2018 / 3:28 PM / 9 months ago

Liverpool expect strong Porto reaction, says Klopp

FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - Champions League - Liverpool Press Conference - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - March 5, 2018 Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

(Reuters) - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp expects a strong reaction from Porto in Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 second leg at Anfield and will not make wholesale changes despite enjoying a 5-0 lead.

The Premier League club are virtually through to the quarter-finals after their dominant performance in Portugal but Klopp said they cannot afford to relax.

“If I would be in the situation (as Porto) I would want to see a real reaction from my team,” Klopp told a news conference on Monday.

“Their manager will be very lively and push his team. It’ll be a tough job for us. We will have to play very, very well to win the game.”

Klopp, however, could make up to three changes in the line-up. Liverpool face Manchester United at Old Trafford in the league on Saturday in the battle for second place behind runaway leaders Manchester City.

“We respect Porto too much and we respect the competition too much to think about real rotation,” the German said.

“I haven’t made decision so far. We don’t rotate to avoid something, we just use the players who are in the best shape. We won’t rest players but maybe we will make one, two or three changes, but only to win the game.”

Liverpool will be without midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and forward Ben Woodburn although the pair have returned to training after missing the last two Premier League games due to illness.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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