Jurgen Klopp has revealed he expected to draw one of the Madrid draws in the Champions League last-16 after Liverpool were drawn against Atletico Madrid on Monday morning.
The Reds will host travel to the Wanda Metropolitano, the scene of their Champions League triumph over Spurs in June, on the 18 February before hosting Atleti at Anfield on the 11 March.
Klopp watched the draw from his side's base in Qatar ahead of their Club World Cup semi-final against Monterrey on Wednesday.
Speaking to the club's official website straight after the draw he explained that he's expecting a difficult match against 2016's beaten finalists:
“It’s an interesting draw. Before the draw I actually thought it would be Madrid – either one of the two clubs – and that’s the way it is.
“Madrid is the place where we only have fantastic memories, all of us, so that’s great, but this time we play Atletico there and it’s their home ground.
“It’s a tough one, but if you go through all of the draws, there are pretty much four or five potential finals already in the last 16.
“So, really, really good; a good draw, a difficult game like it should be, but how we most of the time think and say, I don’t think Mr. Simeone is running through his living room and is happy that he got Liverpool.
“It will be a tough game. Two teams who are used to playing intense football, different styles and slightly different organisation of course, but both are ready for intensity and that makes it pretty tough for both.”
When quizzed on whether it would be special to return to the site of a former glory, the former Borussia Dortmund coach was quick to point out that there would be no time for sentiment on game day.
“I think we had the home dressing room in that game. Maybe we can ask them: can we have that dressing room again! It was really nice. It was full with Liverpool signs, but I think they’ve got rid of them.
“It is fantastic. What can I say? I had one of the best nights of my life in this stadium, but this time – first and foremost – we have to go there to work and try our best.
“Then they have to come to Anfield, which is a very nice place as well.”
Before their game in Qatar, the Reds face a Carabao Cup quarter final against Aston Villa on Tuesday night.