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Klopp aiming to banish Liverpool's semi-final misery while Teixeira's price tag may prove too high

By Mark Ogden

Published 26/01/2016

Bad memories: Jurgen Klopp lost the Champions League final at Wembley at Borussia Dortmund
Bad memories: Jurgen Klopp lost the Champions League final at Wembley at Borussia Dortmund

For Jurgen Klopp, life is all about accentuating the positives, so the German sees only the upside of being 90 minutes away from a major final with Liverpool because "in England, we won't have to play Bayern Munich if we get there".

Klopp's last visit to Wembley resulted in his Borussia Dortmund team losing the 2013 Champions League final to Bayern.

Yet, after Liverpool secured a 1-0 first-leg lead against Stoke City in the Capital One Cup semi-final earlier this month, anything but a defeat at Anfield tonight will ensure that the red half of Merseyside can plan for the final on February 28.

And with Everton aiming to overcome Manchester City tomorrow, they could potential meet their neighbours in next month's decider.

Liverpool go into tonight's second leg having been eliminated at the semi-final stage of both domestic cups last season, against Chelsea and Aston Villa.

However, with Klopp determined to banish any negative thoughts, he insists that last year's failure will not even be discussed with his players.

"Everything has changed here since last season," Klopp said. "If you want to solve problems, you can take the problem, talk about it, find solutions for it and, in the end, you can find yourself facing the same problem.

"The other option is that you ignore it and say, 'It was only one time', or in this case two times. Or you prepare yourself for a semi-final and that's what we want to do.

"Don't think too much about the past. It doesn't help to think about these things.

"Last year, I don't know why, but some things went wrong in the semi-finals and the only thing that stays in the mind is that we lost.

"This is a different team, different situation, different manager, different opponent. It wasn't Stoke last season, it was Chelsea, so it's different and we don't need to think about that.

"To accept a situation is the biggest mistake you can make in sport. Sometimes you have to respect and accept something, but then you have to react in the right way. That is what you have to learn."

Liverpool go into the game with Jon Flanagan on standby to replace Nathaniel Clyne at right-back if the England defender fails to overcome a knock in time, but Klopp is set to retain Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho at centre-half, despite Dejan Lovren's return to training following a hamstring strain.

Klopp's hopes of bolstering his squad with the signing of the Shakhtar Donetsk forward Alex Teixeira appear to be diminishing, however, with the Ukrainian club refusing to lower their valuation of the Brazilian.

Teixeira is keen to move to Anfield, but Shakhtar believe they can secure £50m for the player, whose £38m escape clause applies only if triggered by a club competing in the Champions League.

While efforts will continue to be made to sign Teixeira ahead of Monday's 11pm deadline, Klopp said that the immediate objective is to secure a "boring" victory against Stoke.

"Boring is not too cool, but 1-0 would be a great result," Klopp said. "We had it at Stoke, so we have the perfect situation for the second leg of a semi-final - a lead away from home - and now we can use the power of LFC to go to the final.

"Going to Wembley is the best thing you can do in football. Who the opponent is at this moment is not the biggest issue, but if it is Everton we want to beat them. If it is Man City we want to beat them.

"First of all we have to beat Stoke."

Meanwhile, among all the seriousness of a semi-final build-up, Klopp was still able to inject some humour into his press conference.

In Saturday's wild celebrations at Adam Lallana's added-time winner in the 5-4 triumph over Norwich, the Reds boss had his glasses knocked off and broken by striker Christian Benteke.

He appeared bespectacled once again, but he is not a fan of his spare pair.

"They are my second pair of glasses. Now I have to be careful," he joked. "They are black and I look a bit like a serial killer."

Asked whether Benteke would have to pay for the damage, Klopp replied: "No, it was my fault."

Belfast Telegraph

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