It’s all about Sunday now for Liverpool. Jürgen Klopp isn’t interested in talking about the Champions League final. The trip to Kiev to face Real Madrid is another two weeks away and the Red’s most pressing task at hand is getting a result against Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield on the last day of Premier League season.
Suggestions that Klopp shouldn’t risk Liverpool’s key players against Brighton perhaps aren’t posited with the full awareness of what’s at stake on Sunday.
A point will do at Anfield for Klopp to secure Champions League football next season since a final tally of seventy-three is enough to nullify the efforts of Chelsea making a last-ditch assault on the top four.
“It’s all about Sunday,” said Klopp.
A full compliment of Liverpool’s stars is expected to start the final game of the season. Exhaustion isn’t a issue ahead of the Champions League final as there will be plenty of time for recovery and specific training over the two weeks in between Sunday and the trip to Kiev. For Klopp, this is no time to wrap players in bubble wrap.
Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané will likely all be called on take the game to Brighton. The midfield picks itself since options are scarce from bench. And the manager probably isn’t apt to change up his preferred defensive personnel for such a crucial match.
The motivation is obvious: Any points from the match means Liverpool finish in the top four of Premier League, qualify for next season’s Champions League competition and Chelsea miss out all together and spin their wheels in the Europa League next year. Profit.
“We need to be completely focused on that game,” said Klopp.
“The boys face so many challenges. We face so many challenges. And we need to show it again.
“It’s the last game of the Premier League season, so it’s a big one.
“I think there were plenty of moments when everybody could be really happy, proud of this team, this club, being a supporter of this club.
“On Sunday we have to deliver again. All of us. It’s not a farewell thing on Sunday. It’s a proper competition against a strong football team.
“That’s the situation we face. A lot of things can happen in football. We will try everything to make sure we play next year in the Champions League again.”