Five games. Six if the results go their way. That’s all that’s left in the 2018-19 season for Liverpool, a season that could as yet go down as one of the greatest in the club’s history or as an equally promising and painful near miss on two fronts.
Five games. Or maybe six. That’s all. And for Jürgen Klopp, there’s no longer any concern about rest or rotation or saving players for what comes next. This is what comes next. There will be no holding back when it comes to approach or team selection.
“No chance,” was Klopp’s response when asked about rotation against Huddersfield. “We had enough time to recover after last game. We have enough time to recover for the next game. Barcelona has nothing to do with Friday night.”
Friday night and Huddersfield. Then three days off. Then Barcelona on Tuesday. Then three days off. Then Newcastle on Saturday. Then three days off. Then Barcelona on Wednesday. Then three days off. Then Wolves on Sunday. And then it’s over.
Barring a potential Champions League final, at least. Assuming they can get past Barca and the greatest player the game has ever seen to make it there. Five games. Maybe six. Maybe Premier League champions. Maybe Champions League winners.
Whatever happens next, it’s been a hell of a season, and the schedule sets up—with a little help from the league—as well as it possibly could for Klopp to play his strongest possible side in each match, trying to end it with five wins. Maybe six.
“We will be there at the end,” Klopp added. “This team is trying it for the first time and we are obviously pretty close and still have a chance, so we will see what happens before the end of the season. But it’s the first time, not the last time.
“That’s how it is. We have to carry on, and we will carry on. There’s no doubt about that. But it’s not only about that. We want to play the best football we can every day, that’s the truth, then at the end of the season you see where you end up.”