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Klopp Focused As Top Four Battle Heats Up

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The boss isn’t wasting time worrying about what the competition is doing as he focuses on getting Liverpool over the line.

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Stoke City v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

It’s always frustrating to be the team with less games to play than the competition, but it’s mid-April, and that’s the position that Liverpool find themselves in. They’ve played at least one game more than every other team in the top six — and two more than both Manchester United and Arsenal.

Right now, the Reds sit in third place, two points ahead of Manchester City. However, since City has a game in hand, their third place position feels more like a battle for fourth. They are currently running two games ahead of Manchester United and Arsenal and hold six and nine point leads on them, respectively.

Those cushions will start to feel pretty tenuous if United and Arsenal can pick up six points from their two extra fixtures, but ultimately, Liverpool’s top four hopes rest on their own shoulders.

“We have to carry on,” Klopp told the official website when asked about this situation. “And that’s no problem – it’s actually the only thing we think about.

“That everybody is asking me about [the situation] is no problem, I don’t mind. Because the league is like the league is, [the other teams] have three, or maybe next week after the [FA Cup] semi-finals, four games less.

“If Manchester United go to the [Europa League semi-final], they have to play two [more] games. If they go to the Europa League final, it could be really close for them to find the right days to play.

“But that’s nothing we have influence on. We don’t play them anymore, so that means we have to do our job as good as possible. And it couldn’t have been better [against West Brom].”

Liverpool’s next challenge will be Crystal Palace on Sunday, and if they can dispatch them the way that they did with Stoke and West Brom, then they’ll be one step closer to their goals. Another misstep like against Bournemouth or Leicester and things will start getting a little too close for comfort.