Jurgen Klopp: We want to pay Liverpool fans back with a win over Stoke

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Jurgen Klopp has called upon his Liverpool players to produce a performance similar to the 'brilliant' support of the Reds faithful ahead of their Capital One Cup semi-final against Stoke City tonight.

Speaking to Liverpool's official website, the German has heaped praise on Kopites for the noise they've generated during recent clashes with Arsenal and Manchester United at Anfield, despite the home side only taking a point from a possible six.

The 48-year-old has already fallen in love with the famous Anfield atmosphere since replacing Brendan Rodgers in October last year and is eager to witness what the fans could conjure up in a cup final at Wembley.


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"I have had a few matches at Anfield now and, to be honest, I can’t get enough of it. It’s a great thing to do, one of the best I’ve ever done," Klopp said.

"I’m really looking forward to it and I’m excited to feel how different maybe the atmosphere can be."

Klopp expects his players to repay Liverpool followers by capitalising on their one-goal advantage from the first-leg against the Potters and book a place in the final next month.

However, he has also underlined the importance of making the final with conviction rather than merely scraping through.

"It’s a semi-final and you can’t go or should not go to the final with an average performance," he continued. "You should always try to do your best, that’s for the players and supporters.

"We want to pay back. If the atmosphere is great, of course, you know that each player will want to pay back.

"It’s a natural thing and if all the people want to help us then they are really invited to."

The former Borussia Dortmund manager will hope for a more stable performance than the dramatic 5-4 victory over Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday, a thrilling contest which required a 95th-minute winner from Adam Lallana to snatch all three points.

Klopp is likely to make a handful of changes ahead of the clash with a home match against West Ham just four days away.

Roberto Firmino could be rested following his brace and assist against the Canaries, while Nathaniel Clyne could be forced to sit out having suffered a knock.

Joe Gomez, Danny Ings, Divock Origi, Martin Skrtel, Jordan Rossiter and Daniel Sturbridge all remain on the sideline, whereas new signing Steven Caulker is ineligible due to being cup-tied.

Mark Hughes’ Stoke side have some injury concerns of their own with key defender Ryan Shawcross the most significant absentee, while Marko Arnautovic is expected to start despite doubts he would struggle to pass fit after the weekend match against Leicester City.

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Steven Gerrard
Premier League

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