Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes this season’s Champions League group is the club’s hardest since he arrived in 2015.
The Reds have been put in Group B with Porto, Atletico Madrid and Wednesday night’s Anfield opponents AC Milan.
And Klopp is under no illusions how difficult a task the 2019 winners will have to reach the knockout phase.
“This is the strongest group we’ve had since I’ve been at Liverpool,” said Klopp.
“In 2012-2013 at Dortmund, I think we had Manchester City, Real Madrid and Ajax – that was a proper group.
“This group keeps out two really good teams from knockouts and delivers one strong team to the Europa League.
“I never understand when people talk about changes to the Champions League. I like the Champions League how it is and this group shows there are no games where people will think ‘do I really want to watch that’.
“It will be exciting from the first second to the last second. I can’t see any kind of early decisions made in this group.”
Meanwhile, Klopp made four changes to his side to face Milan on home soil.
Joe Gomez, Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson and Divock Origi were all handed starts.
Klopp explains changes
Gomez partnered Joel Matip in defence while Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah and Origi started in the attack.
Sadio Mane and Virgil Van Dijk were left on the bench as Klopp shuffled his pack.
Klopp told BT Sport: “Virgil could have played. I had to force myself really sensible and that’s how it is. We have a lot of games coming up.
“It’s not exactly what Virgil wanted, it’s not exactly what I wanted but I had to do it anyway.
“Up front we need speed and have to use the full squad.
“It’s nothing to do with disrespecting AC Milan or whatever, it’s about bring It’s about bringing fresh legs in and kind of surprising the opponent a bit.”
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