Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson has claimed that teams will be looking to avoid Liverpool in the Champions League knockout stages.

The Reds defeated Salzburg 2-0 in Austria on Tuesday night thanks to goals from Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah. The victory ensured Jurgen Klopp’s side finished on top of Group E.

The Reds have played in two consecutive Champions League finals. The club lost against Real Madrid in 2018, but were victorious against Tottenham Hotspur in 2019.

Robertson believes that because his side are the current champions of Europe, opposition teams will be doing everything to eliminate them come the knockout stages.

However, the left-back is confident that his team can deal with anything that is thrown at them, as most sides won’t want to face them.

“Maybe the first season when we went to the final (against Real Madrid), I don’t think we were really respected until maybe after the quarter-final when we went to Porto and washed them away. We did not get the respect we deserved,” Robertson told the media after the win over Salzburg.

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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 27: Dries Mertens of SSC Napoli is held back by Andy Robertson of Liverpool during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield on November 27, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

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“Now, we know we are respected in Europe. No one will want us but everyone who gets into the last 16 will fancy themselves. It is the toughest tournament. The teams you come up against are outstanding and will fancy themselves. Everyone does. Everyone is confident.

”Last year and the year before, we have been excellent in the knockout stages and we have controlled games but we know that now, we are the champions and everyone wants to beat us. That is what we have to deal with and hopefully we can deal with it well.

“We respect every opponent we play but we know the way we have done things in the last two years and nobody wants to play against us and that is clear – but it is up to us to keep proving that.

”We cannot rely on that and we need to keep proving why people don’t want to play against us but so far, we have done that. We will wait for the draw and see who we get in the last 16.”

Teams will definitely be out to defeat Liverpool if they draw them in the round of 16. With the club being the current champions of Europe, it would be a big scalp to claim for any side.

The draw for the round of 16 will take place on Monday. Liverpool will face one of Real Madrid, Atalanta, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund or Lyon.

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Freelance sports journalist and Red from Melbourne.

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