Jurgen Klopp has, in a way, already begun his international break, after the FA—having solved all other problems in English football—decided that his fine was not enough punishment, and needed to enforce the touchline ban.
However, the Liverpool boss still hopes the lads can give a positive sendoff to the Anfield faithful against Southampton. Thankfully, the Reds have had an
excellent very good mediocre actually really poor record against relegation-threatened sides this campaign. So today might be an adventure.
“Ideally, we would like to be going into the break for the World Cup in a better position in the Premier League and whatever happens today we need to use the gap between games as best as we possibly can,” Kloppo said in his pre-match program notes.
“For the players who are fortunate enough to be selected for their national teams, I hope that they can make the most of the opportunity because it goes without saying that participating at a World Cup is something that is really, really special.
“I also hope that when they return to us, they are in the best condition that the situation will allow. We will be watching their games and wishing them well.
“For the rest of us, it is a case of taking advantage of the break, recharging batteries and then being ready to return with a focus on being the very best that we can be once more.”
The first 13 matches have left the Reds decidedly behind the rest of the “Top 4” contenders to say nothing of the title contenders. But a win today could move Liverpool up to as high as 6th, which would hopefully at least give them a fighting chance to make up ground on Tottenham, Newcastle, and Manchester United, who are all vying for the coveted Champions League positions.
It would also be nice to have a positive memory to reflect on while FIFA puts on their showcase tournament in a country rife with human rights abuses.