Liverpool FC manager Jürgen Klopp has admitted that it will be virtually impossible for the Reds to claim a top-four finish in the English Premier League at the end of the season. Languishing in seventh place in the table at the time of writing, his team is five points behind the current fourth-place team, Chelsea.
Chelsea are currently on a good run under their new head coach Thomas Tuchel who replaced Frank Lampard after he was sacked in January.
Tuchel steered his former club, Paris Saint-Germain, to two consecutive Ligue 1 titles in France. Since coming to Stamford Bridge, he has revived the Pensioners’ hopes of maintaining a top-four finish by seeing his new club to a run of 12 games unbeaten.
They do not look like falling down now, and even if they do, West Ham, currently in fifth position with three points more than Liverpool, and Spurs in sixth with two points more, are likely to be the benefactors if they maintain their own forms.
Liverpool are, of course, still in the Champions League competition. They have reached the quarter-finals, where they will next play Spain’s Real Madrid. Realistically, Liverpool’s only chance of a Champions League place next year is to win this year’s tournament, and that is a big ask.
Klopp went on record, saying that it is not usual to win a competition like the Champions League in a season with as many injury problems as Liverpool has. He also stated that missing out on Europe’s elite football club competition would mean a huge loss of earnings – made even worse by the situation enforced on sports by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Liverpool’s goalkeeper Brazilian-born Alisson Becker has made a pledge that he is out to win this year’s competition. Becker is one of the best goalkeepers in the Premiership, and last season he kept clean sheets for a fraction under 50% of the matches in which he played.
Allison has, of course, suffered a recent personal tragedy, losing his father in a drowning incident. But if he can remain focused, he can play a hugely influential role. In the last Champions League competition, he made a superb point-blank save from Arkadiusz Milik to keep his side in the tournament in the group stage.
He also turned in a man-of-the-match display in the last Champions League final, when Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur by 2-0. However, Real Madrid will prove a tough nut to crack, and then there are other top sides like Bayern Munich, Manchester City, and Paris Saint-Germain waiting in the wings.
Is Klopp worried about his future at Anfield? According to him, no, but he does admit that in all top football clubs in Europe, it’s all about results, and past glories stand for little.