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Soccer-Klopp relishing prospect of return to full Anfield

Soccer-Klopp relishing prospect of return to full Anfield

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Norwich City v Liverpool - Carrow Road, Norwich, Britain - August 14, 2021 Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp reacts REUTERS/Chris Radburn

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp is relishing the return of a packed Anfield for Saturday's lunchtime Premier League clash with Burnley but wants the fans to be on their best behaviour.

Not since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 has Liverpool's famous stadium been packed to the rafters, but with restrictions lifted The Kop roar will return on Saturday.

"Everyone is looking forward to it. You can imagine when you sign for LFC, one of the first things you want is that first game at Anfield," Klopp told a news conference on Friday.

"So for everyone for us it was a special moment. They are looking forward to it. When you sit on the Kop or the Yellow Wall (at Klopp's former club Borussia Dortmund) you are there just for football.

"If they get on their toes the whole stadium will follow, so I cannot wait to feel this connection again. We're blessed with a really good crowd here."

Klopp was critical of some Liverpool fans this week after offensive chants aimed at Norwich City midfielder Billy Gilmour in last week's opening 3-0 victory at Carrow Road.

The German said in a statement on Thursday that he does not want to hear the song anymore and he spoke again of his displeasure at the chants towards Chelsea loanee Gilmour.

"I don't feel proud about it, I think it was the right thing to do (speak out)," Klopp said. "If the response was great... job done. It was an important thing to talk about."

Liverpool were impressive against Norwich with key defender Virgil van Dijk back after missing most of last season with a knee injury.

The Dutchman's absence was a major factor in Liverpool's struggles last term, and his solid return to action did not surprise Klopp at all.

"I wasn't impressed in a surprised way. He had a four-and-a-half-week pre-season. With rehab stuff it was the longest pre-season of all time," Klopp said.

"He played like he trained. Virgil is a good footballer, so delighted to have him back."

Liverpool could have midfielders Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara back in the squad for the clash with Burnley after they were not involved against Norwich, having returned to pre-season training later than many of their team mates.

"They are much closer, yes. They look fine, now we have to make the decision," Klopp said.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Source: Reuters

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