Ahead of Sunday’s match at home against Nottingham Forest, Liverpool head coach Jürgen Klopp had much to say about the development of this Forest side, who are 13th in the league for goals per match (1.1):
“[Forest developed] a lot. In Germany we always say the second year is more difficult than the first one. I was never 100 per cent sure about that, but I was not too often in the second year, I don’t know exactly. Steve [Cooper] is just doing a really good job. [They] changed again a lot, a lot of players are in.
“I really hope, not for the game but for the occasion, that Divock Origi will be in the squad, I hope he is fit so that the people can give him a little hello. He would deserve that, definitely. Besides that, I don’t wish him a good game, that’s clear, but at least the occasion!
“Besides that [they have] a lot of options, a lot of different opportunities for him to pick from. It’s a really big squad, for sure a challenge to manage properly but he is doing it without any noise. I never hear anything from anybody there so it’s obviously working really well.
“I think it’s clear for Nottingham, they want to stay in the league and then progress from there. That’s what they are doing at the moment. In a super tricky Premier League, they pick [up] their points.
“We know what we have to expect. The proper analysis will happen [today] but I know already it will be really tricky. We remember especially the away game last year when we lost, that was a really hard day for us but credit to Nottingham. I think that day we were the better team but you couldn’t see it on the scoresheet because they just stayed in the game, and that’s probably the biggest strength.
“Whatever happens, they stay in the game, and in the moment when they can do it they will score and punish you. We have to make sure we are ready because this will be a tough one, definitely.”
Klopp also spoke to the press about the challenges of recovery in Thursday-Sunday kick-offs:
“Thursday-Sunday is not great, but it is something we have known really for long enough and that’s fine.
“Yes, there is no real training in between. The boys who didn’t play [on Thursday] will have a proper session [on Friday], so that is good. So they stay in training. But if we would play always the same team, which we did in the past maybe in the Champions League more often, or stuff like this, then there is no training at all, it’s just recovery and go again.
“So far we could do it like that, and because we don’t have too many injuries – it’s always too much but it’s still OK in the moment and hopefully it stays like that – that’s why we can do it.
“It means a lot of players who did not play [against Toulouse] will probably start on Sunday, so for them it’s fine. They had, if you want, a ‘day off’ [on Thursday night], just warming up and kicking a few balls, and now [on Friday] a proper session and then we prepare definitely [for] Nottingham.
“Yes, this rhythm is the rhythm we have this year, and we should get used to it sooner rather than later. So far it was OK, but a Premier League season with European football and all the cup competitions is an intense season. We never had a problem with that, that’s all fine.
“But you need a specific amount of recovery time; as long as we have that, we are ready again.”
Forest come to Anfield on Sunday needing a win.