Nobody would blame Liverpool if they were to conserve energy tonight.
The Reds have a 5-0 aggregate lead over Porto heading into the second leg at Anfield this evening and a huge Premier League fixture against Man United at the weekend.
Barring a miracle, their spot in the Champions League quarter-finals is guaranteed.
However, Jurgen Klopp has never been one for taking it easy.
Can Liverpool make history?
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- Won 7-0 twice in the group stages – so goals is their currency
- LIVERPOOL ARE 100/1 TO BEAT PORTO 6-0 WITH SUN BETS
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Both Liverpool’s gaffer and captain Jordan Henderson’s pre-match talk has been about eradicating complacency.
Adam Lallana may be handed his first start of 2018 but Porto can expect a strong line-up from Klopp.
Even with a trip to Old Trafford this Saturday lunchtime, we may well see Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino ready to purr once more come kick-off.
“This is a fantastic test for us,” Klopp wrote in This is Anfield, “a big challenge, because it doesn’t just test our ability, our skill, our fitness; it will test the most critical attribute of any side that wants to be successful – our mentality.”
“How all of us – players, staff and supporters – approach tonight will tell me more about where we are in our development than any Premier League game against a Manchester City, United, Spurs and so on.”
Klopp wants his side to send a message to the other teams in the competition, including Bayern Munich.
The Bundesliga champions also won their first leg 5-0 with braces from Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller making easy work of Besiktas at the Allianz Arena.
Bayern would be wise to keep an eye on a motivated Liverpool this evening as there is an outside chance of having one of their most impressive records equalled… or even beaten.
In 2009, the Bavarian giants beat Sporting CP 12-1 over two legs to set a new record for the biggest margin of victory in a Champions League knockout tie.
They came close to their own record in last year’s campaign with a 10-2 humiliation of Arsenal and it’s not out of the question that Liverpool could equal it tonight.
Porto won’t have much hope of overturning the deficit and have probably already refocused on completing an unbeaten season in the Primeira Liga.
Liverpool are capable of ripping teams apart at Anfield and their players have individual targets for added incentive.
Only Cristiano Ronaldo (11) has more than Firmino’s seven goals in the Champions League so far this season.
Mane and Salah both have six to their name and all of Liverpool’s rampant front three will see an already-beaten Porto as an opportunity to gain ground on Ronaldo.
Then there’s James Milner.
The 32-year-old midfielder is the unlikely figure at the top of the assist charts in Europe.
With fellow Premier League residents Kevin De Bruyne and Dele Alli leading the chasing pack, Milner will be hoping to stretch his lead and establish himself as the most productive playmaker in the competition.
A 6-0 win would see Liverpool equal Bayern’s record — a big ask but not impossible given the circumstances.
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