Rafa Honigstein exclusive: Jurgen Klopp will take Europa League seriously

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Jurgen Klopp will take the Europa League seriously and attempt to win it, according to football expert Rafa Honigstein.

Liverpool are in danger of crashing out of the group stages after three draws from their first three matches.

However, Honigstein is convinced Klopp will want to progress and won't be making too many changes to his team ahead of the three remaining group matches, two of which away from home.


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"The first few results have been a little bit disappointing, he will now play a full-strength team," Honigstein told GiveMeSport.

Many teams in England see the Europa League as an unnecessary distraction, with managers often fielding weakened sides before crashing out in the early stages.

Both Southampton and West Ham lost their Europa League qualifiers this season and, as a result, have started the Premier League campaign impressively.

There is usually a strong correlation between sides competing in Europe's second tier competition and their poor league form due to the increased travel. Tottenham face a 5,000 mile round trip to Azerbaijan next month while Liverpool must travel a similar distance to do battle with Rubin Kazan.

However, Honigstein believes Klopp will be relishing the competition which now awards the winners a Champions League position for the following season.

"He will make sure that the club and the team understand that the Europa League is an opportunity," Honigstein said.

"An opportunity to reach the Champions League, the opportunity to win a trophy, but also an opportunity to grow as a team and take the next step.

"I don't believe he will see it as a burden - he will see it as an opportunity and he'll make sure the players feel the same way."

Liverpool have won the Europa League, formally know as the UEFA Cup, on three occasions, most recently in 2001. Since then, the club have often fielded weakened sides in the competition and rarely reached the latter stages of the competition.

However, Klopp is likely to relish the opportunity of more matches to further implement his philosophy and become more familiar with his players.

Klopp is yet to win a European trophy in his managerial career, but he did guide his Borussia Dortmund team to the 2013 Champions League final before losing to Bayern Munich at Wembley.

Liverpool players should savor the chance of European football given that it may provide the best chance of playing in the Champions League next year.

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