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Klopp Talk: Qualification Is Not Secure

Liverpool play Ajax on Wednesday as they continue through the group stage of the Champions League.

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Liverpool FC Press Conference Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool had an horrifically poor start to their Champions League campaign back September. They lost 4-1 to Napoli away, in what looked to be a grim portent of the season to come.

However, since that defeat, Liverpool have rallied in their group, winning the following three matches: two against Rangers and one against Ajax. Now they’re heading to Amsterdam for game five in second place behind Napoli. If they can get a result against Ajax, it will secure their place in the knockout round of the tournament. A win could even give them a long distance shot at winning group A, depending on Napoli’s result against Rangers and their final match against the Italian side at Anfield.

Back in September, Liverpool fans would have taken this position in a heartbeat. But despite their current good standing, manager Jürgen Klopp knows that the round of 16 is not yet in the bag.

When asked about the possibility of securing qualification, Klopp said, “Yes, it would be absolutely great, but I cannot sit here and tell you I feel it already as if we would be halfway through.

“There is a game and 95 minutes in between – and if it happens then I can tell you it was really big and really important, but in this moment we just prepare for the game. After our start in the group stage, it was not that people thought it was likely this can happen, but it happened and now we have to try to close it for us, the group, and that’s what we’re here for.”

In order to miss out of qualification, Liverpool have to lose their next two games, while Ajax would have to win their match against the Reds as well as their final game against Rangers. While doing so, they’d have to make up at 10 goal difference.

It seems unlikely, but the easiest way for Liverpool to end any uncertainty and save their legs a bit against Napoli would be to win on Wednesday.

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