Porto out for revenge: Liverpool assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Porto out for revenge: Liverpool assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders

Reds assistant manager says Portuguese champions wanted to face his team in quarter-finals

Porto were the only team who wanted to face Liverpool when the Champions League quarter-final draw was made last month, according to Reds assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders.

Ahead of their first-leg clash at Anfield tomorrow morning (Singapore time), Reds boss Juergen Klopp's right-hand man believes the Portuguese champions will be out to avenge their 5-0 thrashing last season.

Porto were one of Liverpool's victims en route to the Champions League final last season, suffering a heavy hiding at home in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

Lijnders told The Times: "There was only one club in the last eight that wanted us and that was Porto.

"All the others in the last eight wanted to avoid us, but Porto will love the chance to go again against us. I know it because of their mentality.

"Sergio (Conceicao) is a motivational coach and he will use that.

"Motivate is not the right word. It is revenge. They want to set something right.

"The attitude of Porto is always more, always better. They love the ones who hate to lose.

"Many clubs are in the game because of football, but Porto are in the game for silverware.

"That is their reason."

Porto, however, have an uphill task ahead of them having suffered an injury crisis at the worst time.

Vincent Aboubakar, who scored 26 goals last season, is out with a cruciate ligament issue.

Midfield playmaker Hector Herrera and three-time C hampions League winner Pepe are suspended.

Alex Telles is an injury doubt, possibly leaving Porto with just four available defenders.

Not that Pepe is too worried.

He told Uefa's website: "I'm back here with Porto, with a lot of good central defenders.

"Defenders who, in my opinion, could very well be playing for a club like Real Madrid because they have a lot of quality.

"So much so that (Eder) Militao was bought by Real."

Portuguese scout Tiago Estevao, meanwhile, said the Reds should be worried about the talents of Mexican winger Jesus Corona and Malian striker Moussa Marega - who has scored in his last six European matches.

He told the Daily Express: "Corona is having his best season since he arrived in Portugal and would probably be my pick.

"He's a quick winger who can play on either side and is very skilful when it comes to one-versus-one situations.

"He'll be a threat on the counter and is also very active off the ball, so will be important in either disrupting Liverpool's build-up or defending deep.

"Beyond him, Marega is dangerous if Liverpool leave too much space in behind."

The Reds will be missing key left-back Andy Robertson due to suspension while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana are injury absentees. Joe Gomez, however, could feature.

But former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy believes his former side have nothing to fear.

He wrote in his Daily Mail column: "Porto can be dangerous but if Liverpool are on their game, the visitors shouldn't be able to live with the intensity...

"I don't think Liverpool have anything to fear, provided they have the right attitude.

"Klopp also has a variety of options in midfield, which means players can be rotated to rest legs without losing the team impetus."