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Transfer Rater: Nkunku to Liverpool

Football Whispers

Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp wary of motivated Augsburg in Europa League

Jurgen Klopp has said Liverpool will be braced for Augsburg to raise themselves for the "biggest game in their history" when the clubs meet in the Europa League on Thursday.

The Bundesliga club are competing in European competition for the first time, and Klopp expects them to forget their struggles in the German league when they host the Reds in the round-of-32 first leg.

"It won't be too easy," Klopp told his prematch news conference on Wednesday. "Bundesliga clubs are never easy to play against and especially a club like Augsburg, who are a special story in Germany.

"They have said it is the biggest game in their history. If it is the biggest game in their history you can imagine how ready they are for this game."

The domestic relegation battle facing the home side would not detract from their focus on progressing to the last 16, Klopp said.

"You could say the Europa League is not the best competition for them at this moment when they are fighting in the Bundesliga, but they are really confident and want to go to the next round," he said.

"For a club like Augsburg the competition is the biggest money they can get in Europe because the Champions League is far away.

"These clubs want to go for the Europa League and no one would ever ask them a question like 'don't you think it's better to go out of European football and concentrate on the league?'

Jurgen Klopp has cautioned his side for their upcoming Europe League match.

"Maybe in this case when you have 21 points and are in a difficult situation you could say 'yes' but from outside you will not see this at the game. They will fight for their lives, for sure, because for them it is an absolute highlight."

Klopp denied that the interest surrounding his first match in his homeland since being appointed Liverpool manager in October was a factor in Thursday's tie.

He admitted, though, that his years in charge of German clubs Borussia Dortmund and Mainz could give Liverpool an advantage -- and he identified Augsburg striker Raul Bobadilla as a man to watch.

"I don't think there is extra motivation because I am there," Klopp said. "I have never had a problem with their players or something like this.

"I've played a lot of times against them and that makes the preparation easier but in the end they will fight for everything.

"They have a good mixture of experience and young players and made some really good transfers.

"They have players with big potential and have one of the most physical strikers in Europe in Raul Bobadilla, who you need a navigation system to drive around! He is a real worker and difficult to defend.

"Their manager said it would be better for them if Liverpool had another manager because they would never have been to Augsburg. We know everything about this team."

Tom is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @writertombell.


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