Liverpool are defending Premier League champions. Liverpool are top of the league for the third Christmas in a row. Liverpool have an unlikely eight-day break in the midst of the most congested season ever. Liverpool’s injury crisis appears to be easing.
It is, in short, a good time to be a Liverpool fan. Or, one imagines, their manager. Not that Jürgen Klopp was particularly interested in reading all that much—or anything at all, really—into his side’s current standing at the front of the Premier League pack.
“You are not champions in May when you are the Christmas leader,” Klopp noted. “It’s the best position you can be in in the moment, but that’s it—that’s all. We know how tough it was and how tough it will be. We haven’t even played half the season.
“It’s nice, nothing else. Nothing really happened so far. We have collected a few points and if we want to do something special this season then we will have to collect even more until the end of the season and that’s what we will try to do and that’s it.”
That effort to collect more points continues on Sunday against West Brom, and if Liverpool can defeat the 19th-place Baggies along with new manager Sam Allardyce, it will ensure they maintain their place at the top of the table into the new year.
As Liverpool saw recently in a draw against relegation-threatened Fulham, though, a side being closer to the bottom of the table than the top is hardly a guarantee of three points, and other Alardyce sides have proved difficult in the past for the Reds.
“I expect a tough opponent,” Klopp added. “It was always tough against Sam Allardyce teams, and in the situation West Brom are in it will be a proper fight. Sam is a specialist for organising teams for these kind of fights so we expect a tough game.”