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Jürgen Klopp Tempers Expectations Ahead of Fulham Match

The Liverpool manager is wary of looking at rock-bottom Fulham as an easy get. But come on.

Arsenal FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

It’s never a good plan to go into a match expecting a win. The Premier League is a strange and unpredictable place. Liverpool should take all three points from Fulham on Sunday. Any one of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, or Sadio Mané could score a boatload of goals against the mostly-hapless Fulham defense. Or Liverpool could lose at home to the team sitting rock bottom in the league.

Jürgen Klopp isn’t eyeing Fulham’s -18 goal differential as an indicator of success for the Reds at Anfield on Sunday. The manager knows all too well the pitfalls of overconfidence in football. When Klopp looks at Fulham he doesn’t see a side ready to open up channels for his Liverpool players to run through. He sees an attacking team that only needs a moment in order to cause Liverpool problems.

“I’m not sure how many Fulham games you’ve watched over 90 minutes - not only Match of the Day or a summary of stuff like that - but this is a really strange situation for Fulham,” Klopp said.

“I can really imagine how they feel in the moment – the football is good, a lot of things are really good. They caused [Manchester] City problems in the Carabao Cup. It’s been really good football in a lot of moments.

“We have to defend them. They are a skilled team offensively and tuned in, doing a lot of things. The end product, the finishing was maybe not so good often enough but they’ve scored goals.

“On the other hand, they’ve conceded, but you will never score a goal against a team like Fulham with their quality only because you go into the game with the wrong attitude and think about scoring, scoring, scoring.

“This game is a big challenge, really, for all of us. We have to make sure we really don’t forget what kind of a good situation we are in.

“Atmosphere-wise, again another challenge, 12 o’clock [kick-off], so for all the people coming into the stadium, go to bed early on Saturday night, be in your best shape on lunchtime on Sunday and help.

“If someone goes there and expects an easy game then please stay at home because it will not be, it will be a really tough job to do. It’s good we want to show a reaction, yes it makes sense, but the right reaction.”

While there are no easy contests in the league, there are silver-platter opportunities. And a match at Anfield against a team who lets in goals for breakfast is the perfect time for Klopp’s squad to bounce back after a difficult week. But Liverpool have got to bring their mojo.

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