EPL

Jurgen Klopp urges Reds to ‘ignore outside mess’ as he plays down favourites tag

By Sports Desk April 03, 2024

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp does not care that his side are now considered favourites to win the Premier League.

Sunday’s win over Brighton, combined with Manchester City and Arsenal’s goalless draw, elevated the Reds back to the top of the table with nine matches to go.

But Klopp is well aware, with a round of midweek fixtures followed closely by games at the weekend, the situation can change in an instant.

“It is nothing we are obviously aware of. The situation is, for us, Sheffield United, and not who is the favourite,” he said ahead of Thursday’s home game against the rock-bottom Blades.

“I am pretty sure when we lost at Arsenal (on February 4) we were not favourites after that – maybe rightly so – but I don’t know and I don’t care.

“One of the most important things to get through this period is to ignore the outside ‘mess’ as it goes up and down and is emotional.

“We have to be professional – be emotional but in the right way – and be the best version of ourselves, play the best football we can play and then let’s see what the outcome is.

“There are no guarantees, there are just opportunities. The clearer the opportunity, the more likely you can take it.”

Liverpool are the last of the title chasers to play, with City and Arsenal’s matches on Wednesday, but Klopp will not be tuning in to see how their rivals get on.

“I didn’t even know they played (on Wednesday night),” he added. “I expect them always to win.

“I told you one story, years ago, I watched a game and wanted Leicester to win (against Manchester City in 2019) and it didn’t happen.

“That was the last time that I did that. That’s when you learn from the past. When they play, my heart-rate doesn’t go up.

“We need to get our points in, win our football games.”

If Liverpool are favourites for the title they are even shorter odds to dispatch a Blades side which have conceded 77 goals in 29 matches and have a goal difference of minus 50 after managing just three wins, just one away from home, all season.

It looks like an easy task against a team who have not kept a clean sheet in four months, with Sunday’s visit to Old Trafford – where only three weeks ago Liverpool were knocked out of the FA Cup – the bigger hurdle.

However, Klopp will not be taking the visitors lightly.

“If I would think now about Manchester United, our people (fans) would have a right to think I am already too long in the chair,” he said.

“It makes no sense. You cannot win football games not respecting the opponent. I have no chance of influencing the Manchester United game at the moment. We will play players who are available.

“We want to use them, for example Curtis (Jones) is back but it doesn’t mean he can play 90 minutes. Other players might need rhythm because we need them. How can we do that?

“It has nothing to do with the Manchester United game, Sheffield United deserve our full respect and they will get it.”

Left-back Andy Robertson is also available after missing Sunday with an injury sustained on Scotland duty.

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