Much has changed since Liverpool qualified for the 2017/18 Champions League Round of 16 by topping Group E back in early December last year. Brazilian wizard Philippe Coutinho finally sealed his dream move to Barcelona, fan favourite Daniel Sturridge joined West Brom on loan while Virgil van Dijk was brought in for a club record deal to shore up the leaky defence. Despite of all the changes, Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius can’t seem to wait for the Round of 16 opening clash against FC Porto.
Liverpool supporters have been itching to watch their team play in the knockout phase of the elite European competition – UEFA Champions League – for quite a many years now and their wait will finally end when The Reds travel to Portugal to take on FC Porto at the Estádio do Dragão on Valentine’s Day for the 1st leg fixture of the 2017/18 Champions League Round of 16. VVD will also be making his much awaited European debut for the club in the match. (READ: Liverpool v Porto – Preview)
Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius ready to rock Champions League Round of 16 1st leg against Porto
Rejuvenated Loris Karius will also be starting the game in goal for Liverpool, who once had a solid game in between the sticks on Sunday in the Reds’ clinical 2-0 win at Southampton. Karius, who featured heavily in Liverpool’s group stage campaign, is looking forward to the challenge presented by the Portuguese league leaders.
The young German goalkeeper shared his views ahead of Wednesday night’s match and said, as reported by SB Nation,
“They play good football but we’ll go over there determined to get a good result in the first leg. Having the second game at home can be a real advantage for us. But for it to be an advantage we need to put ourselves in a good position in the tie. We go there with belief. Hopefully we can keep another clean sheet and get an away goal.”
Karius also reflected on the upcoming list of fixtures for Jurgen Klopp’s men and stressed on the need to maintain consistency in a bid to keep their recent good run of form going.
“We have some very big games coming up and now it’s important to maintain this form. We want to go as far as we can in the Champions League. We need a bit of luck in terms of avoiding injuries, but we can’t look too far ahead. The first challenge is to get into the last eight. We’ve shown this season that we can beat the big teams and we need to maintain this momentum,” he said.
Despite the departure of Coutinho to Barcelona and their inability to replace the influential Brazilian, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah’s form has ensured that goals have not dried up for The Reds. As a result, Liverpool certainly have a good shot at getting a strong result in Portugal.