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Jurgen Klopp on injuries, Fulham and chances of retaining Premier League title

LFC Globe
11th December 2020
Jürgen Klopp's pre-Fulham press conference _ Latest on Alisson, Ox, Jota and more 12-1 screenshot

Liverpool manager spoke to reporters at Kirkby ahead of his side's visit of this weekend.

The Reds travel to London to take on Scott Parker's side as they to return to winning ways after midweek's draw against Midtjylland, which saw them qualify for the Champions League last-16.

head into the clash just above the relegation zone following a disappointing start to their bounce-back season in the Premier League.

Speaking of the opposition, Klopp insisted it will be a "tough" encounter between the two sides as he cited 's home advantage due to the return of 2,000 fans.

“When I do the analysis for a game, we now are on matchday 11 and I didn’t see all 11 games, but I saw the last three,” Klopp said.

“Yes, of course, they are growing and that is a normal process, by the way, and when you see then the number of points in that area of the table, it is not that somebody is already out of the race or something like that. They all have all the chance to stay in [the league] and is even in a slightly better position than others.

“That means in this situation, even when the results were so far not perfect, you can still be confident – they can have confidence. That’s what we expect. It’s a tough one with supporters [at Craven Cottage], I think, in London.

“With supporters, we felt a week ago the benefit of having our crowd there, so now , a small stadium, 2,000 people in, it will be a proper atmosphere, so we have to be ready for that.”

Liverpool vs Wolves Stream

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The boss also confirmed will return to training as he ruled the Brazilian in contention should he come out unscathed.

“Ali will train today, that’s what I’ve heard. I came in and came directly to the press [conference] so all the meetings are after that and yes, Ali will train and if he trains and all fine, then he can play,” said the boss.

While 's return is certainly good news, the boss revealed and picked up knocks against in midweek and will need to be assessed.

“We had a game two days ago and after the game we obviously had some niggles I would say, but [they] can be more, we have to see. The diagnoses are not finally done,” Klopp said.

“Kostas we have to see, Diogo we have to see - he got a knock as well. That’s it from the game, I think. Apart from that, Oxlade is in normal training. He has been doing parts of training now for a week or so, he is now in full training and we will see.

“So the situation probably demands to involve him as soon as possible, but I don’t know if the weekend is that already. Nobody else is coming back, I’m afraid.”

While the likes of , and are no closer to returning, the return of to full team training is certainly encouraging.

Oxlade-Chamberlain

Image: Liverpool FC via Getty Images

The midfielder, who has struggled with injuries during his time at the club, could be in contention for some minutes against the Cottagers.

But rather than focus on the timing of his return to the pitch, Klopp hailed the 27-year-old's presence within the squad as he labelled him an "energy giver."

"Ox is [his] best therapist himself, he is just a very positive person, a very optimistic person. The people [around him], his girlfriend, his brother, his mother and father and all that stuff, they are pretty close," Klopp said.

“Actually it is like this, in the moment when Ox joined parts of team training again then everybody gets the benefit of that. That’s the way he is.

“You don’t know you miss him because he is not there for a long time, but in the moment when he comes in and is in the gym with the players you think, ‘Oh god, right, it is much better when he is here!’ That is Ox.

“How I said, in the first few weeks the boys get all the help they need and from that moment on, especially with Ox, he is again an energy giver and doesn’t need too much energy from other people.”

Liverpool currently sit joint-top of the Premier League table alongside so far this season, with another seven teams sitting within five points of the two clubs.

It's in stark contrast to last year when the Reds had already built up a six-point cushion at the summit of the league.

But Klopp insisted he isn't taking any notice of the table as yet as he continued to promote his one-game-at-a-time mantra.

“Look, I am not the most experienced guy who can tell you how it is when you have a big gap between you and other teams, but last year, for whatever reason, it was like this,” he said.

“Before a game, it is exactly the same like always, you want to win this game because it is not that you think, ‘Oh, there is a gap of 20 points between us and them, so we might play at 60 or 70 per cent’ – it is not like that. We felt under pressure from ourselves last year and that’s the same now, it didn’t change. You don’t look at other teams, it is much too early in the season.

“The last matchday is important, where are the others and where are yourselves. Before that, you just create a basis for the rest of the year and that’s what we are still in. Whichever situation is there outside us, we cannot change, so we are not focused on it so we just try to win the next game and that’s difficult enough.”

Watch everything Klopp had to say in his pre-match presser above.

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