Liverpool’s victory over Wolves on Monday drew the Reds to within five points of the top four. At this stage of the season, though, and with the number of teams competing for the Premier League’s top spots, they remain long shots.
Even a return to their solid if unspectacular autumn form, form that for a time had them top of the league and would’ve made top four a certainty, likely wouldn’t be enough. This is the reality, and it’s a reality Jürgen Klopp has made peace with.
“I like to be an optimist, but in the league it is almost impossible to qualify,” Klopp told Bild this week when asked about his side’s chances of making it into next season’s Champions League by way of the final English table and top four.
In fact, depending on their Champions League quarter final draw on Friday, it could be that they would have better odds of qualifying the Champions League by way of winning this season’s edition of Europe’s top cup competition.
Regardless the draw, though, they won’t be favourites there, either—not with Man City and Bayern Munich in form. Still, as disappointing as ending the season out of the top four and without silverware would be, Klopp says nobody is panicking.
Whatever happens, Liverpool will head into the summer looking to get fit, to keep the core that won 196 points over the past two seasons and the Champions League in 2019 together, to strengthen at a few key positions, and to go again.
“You don’t usually win the Champions League in a year with injury worries as big as we have,” he added. “So then in the worst case next year it will be no Champions League, and maybe Europa League—that is not guaranteed either.
“It would be a huge financial loss. This is the reality of the business. But our owners, the sports director, even the players, nobody doubts anyone here. We have accepted the situation for ourselves and will fight our way through it.”