Liverpool can secure Champions League qualification for next season with a victory against Antonio Conte’s Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Liverpool will be aiming to continue their positive momentum when they travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea on Sunday. On Jurgen Klopp’s mind this weekend though, would be sealing their place in next season’s Champions League in addition to this year’s final.
Even a draw against the Blues and victory in their next match would be enough for Klopp’s men to ensure their participation in Europe’s premier footballing competition next season. However, it won’t be easy, as Chelsea are desperate to try and stay alive in the race for the top four.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Klopp compared this game to being in the Champions League semi-final against AS Roma, who nearly came back from a three-goal deficit to topple Liverpool.
“Chelsea is a similar situation to the [Roma] game – fighting with all they have, they don’t have anything to lose. If we draw it’s not good for them; if we win it’s not good for them. They have to win and they will try to do so. It’s like a Champions League semi-final, to be honest.”
Klopp also provided some team news in his presser, focusing on Adam Lallana, who has endured a difficult season due to a spate of injuries. The Liverpool manager iterated that the English midfielder has now regained fitness and could be in contention to feature on Sunday.
“How Adam [always] is, he looked good, so that’s OK. I have no idea if we will use that or not, but I have to think about it. I don’t know, but it’s good.”
While Lallana looks set to return to the matchday squad, Emre Can (back) and Joe Gomez (ankle) will miss out due to their respective injuries. Joel Matip (thigh) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee) are sidelined as well, with the duo’s respective campaigns already coming to an end.
Given the state of their personnel, rotations are unlikely and Klopp may start the exact same squad that started in their 4-2 loss at the hands of Roma on Wednesday. Loris Karius should start in goal, with Andrew Robertson, Dejan Lovren, Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold making up the back four.
Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson and James Milner will likely make up the midfield three once again, with Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and PFA Player of the Year Mohamed Salah making up the front trio.