Liverpool will face a crucial English Premier League clash against Crystal Palace on Sunday as they try to begin catching up to runaway log-leaders Manchester City.
The second-placed Reds do have a game in hand over City, who currently enjoy an 11-point lead at the top of the standings, with Pep Guardiola’s team next set to face Southampton on Saturday.
Liverpool will be desperately hoping Southampton can do them a favour in that game, before turning attention to their all-important encounter against a Crystal Palace side that is dwelling down in 11th place on the log.
Jurgen Klopp’s team are coming off a comfortable 3-0 win over Brentford last Sunday, but could be without seven first-team players for Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final clash against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium due to injuries and players being on duty in the African Cup of Nations.
Klopp’s team are obviously particularly weaker without the star power of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane due to AFCON commitments, but there is still hope that they can achieve something special this season.
The Reds manager has already conceded that City’s current lead would be unassailable in any other year, but in a season severely impacted by Covid-19, injuries and match postponements, he believes anything could happen.
“We don’t have to convince anyone outside to believe. If they want to believe they can believe,” said Klopp,
“If you are with us, you will enjoy the ride, and we will go for everything. We are ready to go as much as we can. This is not the situation to talk about a title fight; it’s 11 points now with one game in hand.
“In a normal world, nothing happens anymore, but what is normal nowadays? We try to do our part; there is nothing else to do.”
After a first Premier League clean sheet in five attempts, there was a frustrating late injury to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain against Brentford, and it will continue to test the depth of the Liverpool squad.
“He (Oxlade-Chamberlain) was really good. That is the shadow on the game,” the Reds boss acknowledged.
“We have to find solutions, which we always do, not constantly talk about problems. It is about playing football. It doesn’t depend on who is playing, it is always about how you are playing. Everybody can step up. Everybody is absolutely invited to score a goal. We have to go through this period and make the best of it.”