EMRE CAN SAYS Liverpool “are not afraid of any team” as they face the prospect of Champions League clashes with Bayern Munich or Real Madrid.
The Reds swept into the last-16 of Europe’s premier club competition on Wednesday with a 7-0 demolition of Spartak Moscow.
Phillipe Coutinho netted a hat-trick for Jurgen Klopp’s side, while Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were also among the goals.
Bayern, Real, Porto, Juventus, Basel and Shakhtar Donetsk are now potential opponents in the first knockout stage, and Can insists that the Premier League are ready to take on all comers.
The Germany international told reporters after the Spartak mauling: “We are not afraid of any team.
“If you want to go through to the next round you have to win, it doesn’t matter who.
“We will see who we play but of course we have confidence.”
Liverpool had surrendered a three-goal lead in their last European outing against Sevilla, to spark further criticism of their much-maligned defence, but Can insists there was never any chance of history repeating itself.
He added: “If you win 7-0 against Moscow it has to be good, of course.
“We started quick and got the goals and it was 3-0 at half time. I think a lot of supporters thought [about the] 3-0 against Sevilla, maybe the same.
“But we said in the changing room we just keep going, we press high and we just try to score more goals.”
The form of the club’s attacking unit has helped to raise confidence around Anfield, with Coutinho, Firmino, Mane and Salah having shown this season that they are a match for any side on the continent.
“[Those] players, it’s incredible how they play. They can always score and it’s nice to play in such a team of course,” said Can.
“They are quick, they can play football and they can play one-twos. You see their goals – it’s brilliant.
“Really, they are very, very strong players and, if they see the bench, the players who come in are the same. I think we have a good squad.”
Liverpool will be hoping to carry their European form into domestic competition on Sunday when they return to Premier League action with a derby date at home to Everton.
The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):