Klopp wants Liverpool to look beyond unbeaten run
Reds, who are on 18-match unbeaten streak, welcome van Dijk back for trip to Swansea
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has insisted he has not given a second thought to his team’s 18-match unbeaten run ahead of their trip to Swansea City on Tuesday morning (Singapore time).
Klopp’s side have been in imperious form recently, and ended Premier League leaders Manchester City’s hopes of going through the season without losing following a thrilling 4-3 win at Anfield last time out.
The Reds also eased to a 5-0 thrashing of Swansea on Boxing Day, however Klopp has told his players to forget about the statistics and focus on the task in hand ahead of the league match in south Wales.
“If nobody told me how often we didn’t lose, I’d have no idea about it,” he said. “That’s all the past and I’m not really interested. You can look back on a season after the season, not during. It’s not important.”
The German added: “We feel in a good moment. I see the boys training every day and it looks good, that’s the truth, that’s why we can play like we played so far.
‘No easy games’
“But we have to do it again. As a Liverpool player, you cannot perform one week and then two weeks not – we need to deliver consistently, every day and each game.“It’s only the next game and I can’t imagine any easy games in the Premier League. And Swansea is for sure not an easy game.
“They are bottom of the table but they are in a good way. What you have seen since the new manager has come in is a big improvement.”
Klopp revealed that Loris Karius will continue in goal ahead of Simon Mignolet and the German will get the opportunity to establish himself in the position.
“Of course, Loris has to deliver, he knows that, but now he is the No.1,” Klopp explained. “We changed a lot of positions through the year and only with the goalkeeper it looks like we have to stick to our opinion for 20 years if we’ve made a decision one time! So I changed not my opinion, but I changed the situation now, that’s all.”
Liverpool expect to have winger Mohamed Salah and centre-backs Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren available after the trio suffered a bout of illness.
VAN DIJK BACK
Record signing Virgil van Dijk has resumed training having missed the win over Manchester City with a hamstring problem.
Swansea manager Carlos Carvalhal claims the match at the Liberty Stadium will be a meeting of “David versus Goliath”.
Carvalhal’s side are bottom of the Premier League but there has been in a slight upturn in form with just one defeat in five games since the Portuguese took charge.
“It’s not just the three attackers Liverpool have,” Carvalhal said. “They have a good midfield, good defence, a good goalkeeper and good substitutes
“If we just care about our opponents we will not play, so we must block them and the main attributes that they have and we will try to make it difficult for them.
“But like other big teams, they also have some weak points, very few, but we must try to fight against the strong points they have.
“It’s David v Goliath, but surprises do happen and we will be ready to prepare a surprise.”
Swansea striker Tammy Abraham remains a doubt with an abdominal injury but midfielder Renato Sanches is set to be in contention following a hamstring problem. – AFP