Jürgen Klopp gets his game face on for a match Liverpool dare not lose | Andy Hunter

Manager in no mood for joking as he landed in Salzburg with his side’s Champions League campaign hanging in the balance

The Austrian media who were expecting a bit of light-hearted banter with Jürgen Klopp at the Red Bull Arena were to be disappointed. It was not the time or place. There was confusion over where to sit alongside Jordan Henderson at the pre-match press conference, a TV light on full beam was shone directly into the face of the Liverpool manager, who then had to correct the interpreter over a mistranslation of his captain’s words. “As you can see,” said Klopp by way of apology, “I am in competitive mood already.” Salzburg should know to expect nothing less.

Liverpool find themselves on familiar ground in the final game of their Champions League group: needing a result to qualify and to keep alive hopes of reaching the final of every European competition they have played under Klopp. Two years ago they needed to avoid defeat against Spartak Moscow and won 7-0. Last season they had to beat Napoli, one of the teams who could prompt the holders’ elimination on Tuesday, and won 1-0. RB Salzburg have “nothing to lose” according to their prolific 19-year-old striker Erling Braut Haaland, who has predicted a 3-1 win for the Austrian champions and a hat-trick for himself in “the biggest game of my career so far”. Liverpool know what it takes to win.

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