Jurgen Klopp on Man City, retaining Premier League title & centre-back debuts

LFC Globe
7th February 2021

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp discussed and a variety of other topics ahead of the Reds' clash this weekend.

The Reds welcome Pep Guardiola's side to in what is undoubtedly Liverpool's biggest game of the season so far, with City sitting seven points ahead at the summit of the table with a game to spare.

However, despite the champions' ambitions of retaining their Premier League title this campaign, Klopp looked to downplay Liverpool's involvement in the title race as he insisted his side aren't currently part of the picture.

"So after two years now getting this question all the time when we were close enough that it might have made some sense, I just don't see it in the moment," Klopp said.

"Look, you have to football games. If you do that often enough then there is a specific moment in the season when it's clear: ‘OK, now we go for it.' We were, in the last two years, in that situation.

"In the moment we are not so why should we think about it? What we have to think about is to collect enough points that it might happen in April or May again, but I don't know yet so why should we only think about it?

"We only think about it because we got asked but it's not important - it's not what drives you, what gets us up every morning or drives us through the day [that] without being so close to City or whoever is top of the table then we don't like football or we think it's not worth working or whatever. That's not the case.

"We really try hard in a very, very tricky season and we will continue trying 100 per cent - and Sunday the next time."

Liverpool have lost their last two outings at Anfield and when asked what his side must do to rediscover the magic of Anfield, the boss insisted the answer is simple: "to play really good football."

Klopp insisted his players need to defend at their "highest level" on Sunday if they're to get anything out of the game whilst he urged them to be "brave" on the ball.

"They are special games, that's how it is. But in the end it's for three points," Klopp said.

"Obviously City in the moment are in a slightly different moment than we are, we should not forget that as well, but one thing is clear – if you don't defend on your highest level against City, you don't even have to think about getting anything out of the game.

"But then there are the other moments where you have to be brave, and that's what we try to be as well. There are other moments when you have to control, not the game but the situation in possession, and we will try that as well."

With Liverpool's injury problems in defence well-known, Klopp has the option of handing debuts to new boys and after the duo signed on deadline day for the Reds.

But Klopp insisted "in an ideal world" he would allow his two new centre-backs enough time to get used to the Reds way of playing - a luxury which he may not have on this occasion.

"I don't know. With our situation, we will see who can play again, who cannot and who should not or who should play again – all these kind of things. Then we will see," Klopp said.

"In an ideal world, you have a few weeks and work together on defensive things, especially organisation and all these kind of things. Ben and Ozan had yesterday an analysis meeting – and they trained – where they got shown all the stuff we do usually, like a centre-half movie.

"So today, proper session. Tomorrow, proper session and we will see. I don't know yet."

The boss also provided a brief injury update on his squad as the likes of Alisson, and Sadio Mane appear to be edging closer to making a return this weekend.

"Ali feels much better, good enough to have an individual session today," Klopp said. "Sadio and Fab will be in parts of team training today. Then we will see."

Watch everything Klopp had to say during his press conference above.

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