Jurgen Klopp believes FC Midtjylland are a “proper challenger” in their Champions League group and does not expect the Danish champions to “wave the white flag” at Anfield on Tuesday.
Midtjylland were only founded 21 years ago and are competing in the group stages of the competition for the first time, having won their third Superliga title last season.
The club, from the small city of Herning, were seen as early pioneers of football’s ‘moneyball’ movement, with an added emphasis on data-led decision-making around team selection and recruitment.
Klopp revealed he had enquired about a visit to the club during his sabbatical between leaving Borussia Dortmund and taking the reins at the Premier League champions and says he has nothing but respect for their approach.
Midtjylland began their Group D campaign with a disappointing 4-0 home defeat to Italian side Atalanta, but Klopp insists his side are expecting a “proper fight”.
“They are really good,” Klopp said. “The 4-0 against Atalanta was not a 4-0 – that was the result but it didn’t look like that kind of game.
“They have a clear plan. We have a clear plan as well, which is adaptable. We have to make a lot of good decisions in the game and show that we are ready for a proper fight.