Beat United or season's over, Liverpool: Neil Humphreys
Klopp's men need to defeat the old enemy on Sunday to keep their top-four hopes alive
If nothing else, the Reds have clarity of vision. Win at Old Trafford on Sunday or pull the shutters down on a miserable season.
Juergen Klopp's weary men might even take comfort in the certainty. In recent weeks, they've staggered from one awkward interview to another like bleary-eyed extras working on a micro-budget zombie movie.
Every question was an interrogation. What did they know? How did they feel? Would they again like to take the opportunity to bite the American hand that feeds them and denounce their employers?
Now, thankfully, they can focus solely on the football and Sunday night's encounter at Manchester United that will either inspire a recovery or read like an obituary.
Of course, they can't really focus on only football. Such flippant naivety has no place among the elite. Everything is about money and Liverpool don't have enough.
Earlier this week, the club's published accounts revealed a pre-tax loss of £46 million (S$85.1m), as opposed to a pre-tax profit of £42m the year before.
Matchday and media revenues slumped and Liverpool's owners, along with the rest of the "dirty dozen", infamously panicked and hit the public relations nuclear button.
But the European Super League debacle has glossed over the uncomfortable fact that United could effectively end Liverpool's new dynasty in its infancy.
A glance at the English Premier League standings suggests the four-point gap between Chelsea and Liverpool is surmountable with five games still to play, but a look at the Reds' recent performances indicates otherwise.
In the 1-1 draw with Newcastle United last Saturday, their attacking aura had dissipated.
Liverpool's striking triumvirate of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino contributed to a silverware hoard that reeled in every trophy worth winning. Their legacy is assured. But their short-term future is less certain.
Klopp has tinkered with his cherished 4-3-3 to accommodate Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota, but he's also seeking to address the more sensitive issue.
Firmino and Mane are becoming exasperating studies in inconsistency.
Mane has the more valid, poignant excuse for his loss of form. He contracted Covid-19 last October and hasn't been the same since.
Fatigue affected his fitness and there were further injury setbacks. He's managed just 13 goals and only two in the EPL in 2021.
The EPL Golden Boot joint-winner in 2018/19 knocked in at least 20 goals in each of his previous three seasons. He won't repeat the feat this time around.
At 29, his peak seems increasingly in the rear-view window, which feels unnecessarily cruel. His devotion and contribution to Liverpool's dominance were absolute.
Firmino, as ever, remains the more enigmatic character, which is a diplomatic way of underplaying his mercurial form. Even the Brazilian has no answer.
Just six goals for the season and only one in 2021, Firmino can no longer slip behind his protective shield, the one about his non-goalscoring contributions.
He's provided seven assists, arguably not enough to justify his manager's enduring faith.
The forward's total of 13 goal involvements is the lowest of his Liverpool career and doesn't augur well for his Anfield future.
Quite rightly, the loss of all three senior central defenders was considered a defining moment for the Reds. But Mane and Firmino's combined tally of 14 league goals from a total of 156 shots also contributed to the downturn.
Liverpool seldom score their way out of trouble any more, chalking up five 1-0 losses in 2021 alone.
Meanwhile, the younger and most productive forward, Salah, also happens to be the most marketable and continues to be linked with other clubs, supposedly to facilitate the purchase of Jadon Sancho.
So the trip to Old Trafford almost feels like the end of an era. The bell is about to ring for the Class of 2019/20.
And they'll file out with a whimper if their forward line stumbles again.