Liverpool have to chase everybody, insists Klopp, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Liverpool have to chase everybody, insists Klopp

LONDON – For three of the past four Premier League seasons, Liverpool had been chasing Manchester City for the title.

It is no longer the case this campaign, as manager Jurgen Klopp declared on Friday that his side are instead ready to “chase everybody” who are ahead of them.

The Reds visit Newcastle United on Saturday for a vital league clash for both sides.

Klopp’s men head into the weekend in ninth place on 32 points, nine behind fourth-placed Newcastle with a game in hand and the chance to cut that gap at St. James’ Park.

Despite being in mid-table, Liverpool’s first league victory of 2023 – a 2-0 win over city rivals Everton on Monday – brought them back into contention for a top-four finish.

They still have a lot of ground to make up if they are to qualify for the Champions League for a seventh consecutive season, but Klopp is ready for that.

“Massive game. We have to chase everybody. We have to give it a try and that’s what we do,” he said.

“Newcastle, best defence in the league (with just 13 goals conceded). Lost once and that was against us. Very consistent. It will be interesting.

“It has always been a tough place or us to go and hopefully we can build on the performance on Monday. Our other wins after World Cup were different, this time it was ‘us’ and we can build on that.”

Klopp also praised his counterpart Eddie Howe for taking the Saudi-backed Magpies to an unexpected fourth place, saying: “Eddie is doing an absolutely exceptional job. The financial possibilities they will have in the future are exceptional but it (their success) is not because of that. They built on the team they had.

“Eddie has made Newcastle a proper threat for everyone. It is a really difficult place to go.”

Chasing the title is probably out of the question but Champions League football is a possibility for Liverpool if they can build on the momentum from the win over Everton.

However, the Reds have lost all three of their away matches in the Premier League since the turn of the year – to Brighton & Hove Albion, Brentford and Wolverhampton Wanderers – and Newcastle will be a bigger threat.

Klopp’s men have conceded nine goals and scored just one in that poor run.

They have also won only two of their last 10 Premier League away games.

Klopp will, however, be encouraged by the fact that Liverpool have beaten Newcastle in eight of their previous 12 matches in the league.

The Liverpool boss received a triple injury boost with Diogo Jota, Virgil van Dijk and Roberto Firmino all returning to the squad against Everton, and Arthur Melo could soon be back as well.

Ibrahima Konate, Luis Diaz and Thiago Alcantara are still absent.

Newcastle’s only league defeat of the season so far was against Liverpool in August.

Five draws in their last six games have halted the Magpies’ charge towards a Champions League spot but manager Eddie Howe has insisted that he does not pay too much attention to that.

“I don’t look at the league table, I don’t study it, I don’t analyse it,” he said on Friday.

“I’ve said that many times. The reason for that is it changes so quickly. I look at it purely as ‘can we maximise our efforts?’ and the league table will take care of itself.

“I’m aware we are in a great position, but there are lots of games to come and big teams wanting to climb the table. We can’t focus on them, we can only focus on ourselves.”

Newcastle will be without the injured Joe Willock, Javier Manquillo, Emil Krafth and Matt Targett, while Bruno Guimaraes is suspended. - AFP

eplliverpooljurgen kloppnewcastle united