Liverpool have another opportunity to cut Manchester City’s lead at the top of the English Premier League to just three points as they prepare to host West Ham this Saturday.
In no uncertain terms, the title hunt is back on for the Reds. Once seemingly playing a game of fruitless catch-up, Liverpool have enjoyed a rewarding sequence of results at the start of 2022 to ultimately reignite the Premier League race for top honours.
In the context of a season that is fast-approaching its business end, this could be a defining weekend of action.
For Liverpool, fifth-placed West Ham are a challenging foe to take on. Similarly, City also face a tricky fixture against cross-town rivals Manchester United on Sunday.
Those are two mouthwatering encounters that could dramatically alter the shape of the league standings at a time when Liverpool are six log points behind City, but do have a game in hand.
To make matters more interesting, West Ham defender Ryan Frederics could make a timely return to action for the clash with Liverpool after reportedly making a faster-than-expected recovery from a groin strain. The news comes at a time when Vladimir Coufal has been ruled out for around a month after undergoing surgery on a groin injury of his own.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are riding a wave of momentum after overcoming Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday, and will next face Norwich in the FA Cup on Wednesday before turning attention to West Ham.
The Reds will still be without midfielder Thiago after picking up a hamstring injury, and it will be interesting to see how Klopp manages his squad once again as they contend with four fixtures in the space of 10 days, with a Champions League tie against Inter Milan taking place on 8 March.
At the moment, Klopp is looking to keep his players grounded, and has downplayed talk that his side can win an unprecedented quadruple this season.
“No team has ever won it,” the German told a news conference on Tuesday. “It’s not that we are even close to it. We have won the Carabao Cup, we are behind City in the league and now we have Norwich in the FA Cup after 120 minutes on Sunday.
“I don’t see it as a compliment when people say we can (win it), but it’s better people think we can do good things rather than be useless. We face a lot of good teams between now and the end of May.
“The reality is to win something you have to be focused on the next step and not the one after that. That’s what we do.”
Meanwhile, Klopp also praised January signing Luis Diaz after he was entrusted to start against Chelsea.
“He did really well,” Klopp added. “We need his kind of quality. Starting a game like that, when he had not been here long, (he did) incredibly well. Hopefully he will stay like this (in form) as long as possible.”