Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s latest trip to London, head coach Jürgen Klopp emphasized the need to dramatically up the performance from last season:
Whichever options you have, if you play like you played last year, you will get a massive knock again. That’s how it is. So we should play better and I think we can play better, that’s the first step into the right direction, that’s what we have to make sure. Brighton had now I think a few results which didn’t go exactly in their way, but that’s a completely normal situation in a development. They had a lot of changes, lost top players – one of them we got – and still played incredible football. We could watch a little bit before the game; we couldn’t see the first half when they were 2-0 down [on Thursday night], I saw the second half when they put Marseille massively under pressure and got a point there.
So, we expect a really tough game, a really tough game against one of the best sides in the league, best-coached team in the league, I would say, because where they’re coming from and yes, Graham [Potter] did already a lot of stuff and that’s a really smart move from Potter to De Zerbi, to be honest. But they made really big steps and super-consistent, different formations, different players, line-ups – wow, in the end you always see Brighton football and I couldn’t respect that more. But I’m really looking forward to the game because we have to put a few things right, because you can look once silly but you should not look a second time silly. It still can happen because they are really good, but we have to do better and we will give it a proper try to do better definitely.
Klopp will be without Curtis Jones, who has been a lynchpin in Liverpoool’s better form since last April. Given Jones’ absence, the Liverpool manager will have selections to make in the midfield and — due to Diogo Jota’s shorter suspension and Cody Gakpo’s injury — perhaps less choices to make up front for once.