Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp understands the challenge Rangers pose ahead of their Champions League clash at Anfield tomorrow (Tuesday, October 4).

Liverpool have not faced the Scottish side in over four decades in competitive matches.

The only times the two teams have come up against each other in that time have been friendlies.

Klopp told the media today: “There hasn’t been a game against Rangers for 42 years.

“That’s pretty special. Apart from that, it’s a normal Champions League game.

“It’s very nice that we don’t play the same teams all the time.

“They should enjoy that. I think we should play less games to improve football, give players chances to train more.”

Rangers won the Scottish Premiership in the 2020/21 season. The Gers then backed that up with a sensational run in last year’s Europa League.

Klopp added: “Rangers are one of the standout teams in the league and that is not news. Rangers’ run in the Europa League last year was exceptional.

“It shows you at home games how atmosphere can give you the edge in the game.

“The Scottish game is full of talent. It’s a cool place to start.”

They reached the final of the competition, eventually losing out to German side Eintract Frankfurt.

They took out two other Bundesliga teams on their way to the final in Seville.

Both Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig were defeated by Giovani van Bronckhorst’s team, meaning that Liverpool are forced to respect their European pedigree.

Klopp said: “They are a good football team. They had an exceptional European season last season.

“I saw the last game against Hearts. They play really good football and that is what we have to prepare for. We expect a proper fight but we will be prepared for them.”

Building from Brighton draw

Liverpool come into the game on the back of a 3-3 draw with Brighton at the weekend.

The Reds let two quick goals slip in the first half.

Klopp’s side clawed their way back into the lead just after half-time but Leandro Trossard completed a hat-trick to keep the Reds to just a point.

“We faced Brighton in a very good moment, they are a very good team with a new manager and we conceded two early goals.

“We turned it around, not with a very good performance but with a fight. We were not controlling the game but we had out momentum and we had our chances.”

The Brighton result is a clear learning curve for the team, with Klopp acknowledging that things may not change quickly.

He added: “It always is in life, when you spot a problem, you think about and you think you have the solution and then you expect the solution to instant, that’s never the case.

“We have to improve, we have to play better, consistently better, defend better, attack better, pretty much everything.”

Confidence problems

Any result like the Brighton one can have a huge impact on confidence levels in any professional football squad.

Klopp knows it’s all about the slow work and getting players back up to speed without sacrificing principles.

He said: “People ask about the players confidence, do you think Cristiano Ronaldo in this moment is on top of confidence levels?

“Lionel Messi played last year and he was not exactly the same.

“You have to take the little things and step in the right direction. That’s what we are doing.”

Defensive frailty has been a common theme of the Liverpool team in recent weeks.

Letting three go in against them playing Brighton and then previous games against Napoli stick in the mind.

This is another thing Klopp believes it will take time to fix.

He said: “We’re seeing similar goals. The special problem that we have is that we are really great at defending usually.

“The time when our defending is not perfect, we have to get over it. Brighton passed the ball through our gap.

“We have to be more compact and have that in our mind. We realise how much we have to go back to basics to defend solidly again.”

Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez joined Liverpool in the summer.

He has only made one start since he was sent off against Crystal Palace earlier in the season.

Liverpool have a history, particularly under Klopp, of allowing players to bed in with the team before being exposed to too much first team football.

Klopp said: “New players come in and everybody talks about them and wants them to shine immediately.

“Only yesterday we had a long talk and we told him that we are completely calm. He’s not looking that he is worrying.”

Liverpool take on Rangers at Anfield on Tuesday, October 4, with the team needing three points to consolidate their position in Group A.