Jürgen Klopp has ruled out the possibility of Liverpool prioritizing the Champions League over the Premier League, despite this approach increasingly looking like his best route to return to competition next season.
The loss to Chelsea on Thursday made five successive home league defeats for Liverpool for the first time in the club’s 129-year history and left them in seventh place and four points off the top four ahead of Sunday’s game against Fulham .
It’s a bit of a step back for the Champions and it’s impossible to escape the feeling that, given their form and injury crisis, Liverpool could miss out on Champions League qualification for the first time in five years. . One way to secure their place in the competition is to win it and, while that seems unlikely, that cannot be ruled out given Liverpool’s excellent European record under Klopp.
Encouragement can also be drawn from their Champions League form this season – Liverpool have comfortably dominated their squad and hold a 2-0 lead over RB Leipzig heading into the return leg of their first leg in Budapest on Wednesday.
Klopp, however, refuses to take progress in the quarterfinals for granted and has said that even if this proves the case, he will not consider resting the players for the league games to ensure they are also fit and fees as possible for those in Europe.
“It will never happen,” he said. “There’s no game we can play and lose and say, ‘It was because of the roster.’ Liverpool are too big and too many people are interested in us.
“We don’t play behind closed doors, really – without cameras and where you can only read the results in the newspaper. It is in front of our people and we feel the responsibility that in every game we absolutely have to give everything to win it. We are not changing our attitude. “
Klopp’s position is somewhat contradictory given that he rested the players in the later stages of Liverpool’s race to the 2016 Europa League final. But to be fair to the German, it happened at a stadium where his team had no chance of making the top four, while this season there is still hope.
However, as the matches draw to a close Liverpool must soon win a winning race if they are to move up the league and there would be no better time to start than against a side of Fulham who will travel to Anfield after performances. encouraging but having won twice in 19 games. For Liverpool, a sixth successive home defeat is simply unthinkable.
“The only thing we can do is work as hard as possible, fight as much as we can and play the best we can to win games,” Klopp said. “It changes everything.”