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Reds can be record breakers


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is on the verge of a title win.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is on the verge of a title win.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is on the verge of a title win.

For Liverpool, it's a matter of when, not if, they win the title. And it's how they win the Premier League title that is now important.

Liverpool weren't in such great form before the lockdown, they looked a bit tired to me, but they should be ok for the rest of the season and their aim will be to break the Premier League points record.

They were having such an amazing season, it looked like they could beat any team and win every competition ... but it hasn't worked out like that.

They're out of the cup competitions and their season has been disrupted.

For them to finish the season as a team that deserves the respect of everyone, they will look to break the points record and prove to people that they are the best team in the league, maybe one of the best teams in the Premier League's history.

That's all they have to aim for, while Manchester City could still be going for the Champions League in August, so they can use the next few weeks to try and secure their place for next season (if they're allowed after the appeal against their ban), while also doing what they can to have a squad that's really fit and motivated for a crack at that.

Liverpool only have the Premier League to go for, so they'll look to win every match and get a record points tally.

It's something their season probably merits as they were so good for such a long spell. The timing of the break was unfortunate for them, but I can see them coming back to not just win the league but win it in style.

It can be hard to start back after a break: as a footballer you lose your rhythm.

They will all have tried to regain that sharpness over the last two weeks in training, but you can only really do it in matches.

I wouldn't worry about Liverpool as they have always looked sharp, they seem to train at a hundred miles an hour, all the time, their game is built on that.

So they will try to get into a high tempo very quickly and not use excuses, not say 'we haven't had time to prepare' as all teams are in the same boat and it was up to the players to keep themselves fit and sharp.

Liverpool will look to start with as strong a team as they can, play 70 minutes with their first eleven, especially in the games they're expected to win, and then make changes in the last 20 minutes once the game is won. If you have Mo Salah or Sadio Mane playing 65-70 minutes every game they will build up a strong immunity to these demands and then be ready to play a full 90 minutes if and when they are needed.

I can see Liverpool being really ready for this game at Goodison on Sunday.

I played in those derbies for an Everton side who were never the favourites but we always had the crowd behind us at Goodison to get us going.

And, clearly, that's not going to be there on Sunday. That will be a big loss for Everton.

It's a relief for Everton that Liverpool can't win the title in this game, but this is an important spell for Everton as well.

It's Carlo Ancelotti's first derby at Goodison and he will look to lay down a marker of what they will be about next season.

Everton seem to have invested a lot of money in the last two or so years without a lot of return. They have under-achieved and they need to be more consistent, push for the top six on a regular basis, This spell between now and the end of the season is a chance for the manager to decide what he needs to take them forward.

It's been a while since we had games to watch in England, but we could see from Wednesday's game between Manchester City and Arsenal that not a lot has changed.

You expected City to just pass the ball around, be fluid and dominate the game and even after a three-month break, they did that. On the other side, you see an Arsenal team who are an ok side but are weak defensively and are not good without the ball.

There wasn't the usual level of intensity in the games I saw on Wednesday evening, maybe that was down to the lack of a crowd.

We might not see that high tempo this weekend, it could take two or three match days for the levels to go back up to where they were in March.

It will take a bit of getting used to for the players.

Everything has changed in terms of training and match preparation, but the big difference will be on the pitch, walking out to see no fans there. It will be surreal for all the players.

As a player, it can be one moment in a game that gets you going, your first tackle as a defender, your first attack as a striker, that lifts the crowd and that in turn lifts you, and with no fans there, they will be no emotion in these games.

You'll get a buzz because you played a good ball or put in a good tackle, but it's nowhere near getting tens of thousands of people off their feet.

So players have to get used to that. You always have to self-motivate no matter about the crowd, but it's easier to motivate yourself when there are fans present.