Liverpool’s Klopp will miss Merseyside derby if Everton is relegated
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp will miss the experience of the Merseyside derby if local rival Everton is relegated from the Premier League, the German said ahead of their league meeting on Sunday.
Relegation-threatened Everton is in 17th place in the standings on 29 points, with a game in hand over 18th-placed Burnley, which has 28 points from 32 games.
“Of course (I will miss it). I think we’re all used to having two clubs in the city playing in the Premier League,” Klopp told reporters on Friday.
“It’s a bit different this week, because we played Manchester United the other night, but usually the full week before you play Everton there are just talks about the derby.”
Second-placed Liverpool is hot on the heels of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, with just one pointing separating the two teams in the title race.
It remains on course to claim an unprecedented quadruple, having won the League Cup and reached the final of the FA Cup as well as the semi-finals of the Champions League, and Klopp said his players were enjoying the pressure.
“It’s an incredibly tough situation and we play pretty much all the time,” Klopp said. “We love the situation we are in.
“You cannot plan on being in everything. We won one competition, that’s great, but there are still three more competitions to go. We are looking forward to everything that is coming up.”
Klopp also praised midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who played a key role in Liverpool’s league win over United and FA Cup victory over City, and said any doubts that critics may have had about how well he fits in the Liverpool set-up were unfounded.
“People questioned if he suits our football? Thank God these people don’t make decisions,” Klopp said. “We didn’t think this.
“Thiago wanted to join us and he knew how we play and he knew he will fit in. He’s a real football person, he thinks a lot about football.
“Thiago only had one problem, he was injured. That didn’t help, but there was never a question about whether he would fit.”
The German said that Robert Firmino could be involved after missing Liverpool’s midweek game against United due to a foot injury and added that the team had no other injury concerns.