Rafa Benitez has admitted he “cannot win” when his Newcastle side take on former club Liverpool next month.
The Reds are enmeshed in a keenly contested title race with Manchester City and Newcastle could derail those plans if they beat or draw Klopp’s side at St James’ Park.
Having secured their safety in the top flight, Kopites are hoping for a favour from the Spaniard who masterminded Man City’s 2-1 loss on Tyneside.
Liverpool fans, & Liverpool FC will always love Rafa Benitez. Not just because of that famous Night in Istanbul. It's also about the way he treated the families of the 96, with so much dignity & class. The man's a Liverpool Legend & always will be. #NUFC #NEWMCI pic.twitter.com/3IfAJlUN3u
— Freddy Krueger's Nan (@krueger_nan) January 29, 2019
However, the Madrid-born coach has promised to be professional when Klopp’s men come to town.
“That is a game that I can’t win,” he said in a quote cited on Joe.co.uk after his team’s win over Southampton.
“If we win, they [the Liverpool fans] will say: ‘Oh, [he should be helping us].’ And, if you lose [City fans]: ‘Oh, he was not giving everything.’
“I will not talk too much about this game until it comes around. I was in Liverpool winning trophies. Why? Because I was professional and I was fighting against anyone.
“Some people will criticise me because I was fighting against Manchester United. It’s my job to do the best for my team, and I will try to do the best for my team [against Liverpool], that’s it.”
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 26, 2018
Before their trip to St James’ Park, Liverpool also face a home game against already relegated Huddersfield Town next Friday.
Their final league game of the season will see them host Wolves.