Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is wary of the threat posed by the Reds’ Champions League last-16 opponents Bayern Munich, refusing to underestimate Niko Kovac’s men.
The two sides have had contrasting starts to the season, with Liverpool exceeding expectations by sitting top, while Bayern are nine points adrift of Bundesliga pacesetters Borussia Dortmund.
Liverpool have picked up where they left off last season and look set to push Manchester City all the way in the Premier League title race.
But Bayern have been wildly erratic and new coach Kovac has come under significant pressure at times, reportedly coming close to losing his job in November.
Former Liverpool players Steve McManaman and Luis Garcia spoke of their confidence in the immediate aftermath of the draw, certain the Reds will have too much for Bayern, but Klopp was less brazen.
‘At the end, it’s a football game on the highest level and we have to play it,’ Klopp told Liverpool’s official website.
‘We knew it before, it’s not that anybody thought ”thank God it’s Liverpool”, so we don’t think ”thank God it’s Bayern”.
‘It’s a tough one, but that’s how it should be. It’s the last 16 of the Champions League, so there are only tough teams in and I’m really excited about it.’
The draw will see Klopp return to his native Germany for the away leg, and he is excited about the prospect of going up against the side he endured many monumental tussles with in his time at Dortmund.
‘In the last couple of years, they have dominated the German league in the best period of German football,’ Klopp added.
‘Everybody was talking about Germany being in a really good moment and Bayern was dominating the league, that’s the truth.
‘It’s nice. It’s obviously long ago that I played Bayern in a competitive game, so I’m really looking forward to it.
‘We all know the stadium; the atmosphere will be great. It’s a really nice trip for all our supporters, it’s a wonderful city, so that’s all good.
‘The flight is not too long and we [the Liverpool staff] obviously know more about German football than about any other league, that’s true, but that doesn’t make a big, massive difference.
‘In the end, the boys have to decide it on the pitch. Let’s give it a try.’
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