Manchester United legend Paul Scholes believes the Champions League could jeopardise Liverpool’s aspirations of winning the Premier League.
The former England international has suggested Jurgen Klopp would have been better off had his side drawn Barcelona or Manchester City in the quarter-finals – and not Porto.
How are Liverpool looking in the PL and CL? Five key things to know…
- Liverpool are currently top of the Premier League table by two points but have played a game more than Man City.
- In the Champions League they received a favourable draw against Porto in the quarter-finals.
- The Reds will be hoping to go one better from last season and win the Champions League this time around.
- They beat Porto 5-0 at Anfield last season but Klopp believes the Portuguese club will use that defeat as “motivation” for the first leg on Tuesday.
- After the midweek clash Liverpool face Chelsea in the league on Sunday.
Liverpool comprehensively beat the Dragoes 5-0 last campaign and Scholes is expecting a similar outcome. However, the longer they remain in Europe’s premier tournament the more it will ‘get in the way’ of their domestic aspirations, according to the 44-year-old.
Asked on Premier League Productions, as reported by the Express, if Liverpool will get past Porto, Scholes said: “I think they will do.
“It just feels a little bit like the Champions League is getting in the way of the league run for Liverpool.
“They might have been better off playing off a Barcelona or a City, a real top team, and getting knocked out.
“That would possibly clear the way just to concentrate on that league.
“Porto aren’t a bad side, we know that, they’re in the quarter final but you’d expect Liverpool to come through that.”
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Champions League just as important
Liverpool are yet to win the Premier League and have not won an English top-flight title since 1990, but Klopp has continually stressed – throughout the season – that he is not prioritising any particular competition.
The Reds reached the Champions League final last season, losing 3-1 to Real Madrid in Kiev, and the German would like to surpass that achievement this time around and prevail in the competition.
He explained: “We are very ambitious. We will try everything. It’s at Anfield, it’s a quarter-final, it’s a big one for us.
“This is our second year [back] in the Champions League, not year number 12 or whatever.
“We are not Real Madrid who have won it the last three times.
“We like the competition and we will try everything to win the game.”