Sunday 25 August 2019

'The week is not over yet' - Jurgen Klopp hoping crazy football week ends with title twist for Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp celebrated on the pitch with his team following the win over Barcelona in last season's Champions League semi-final (Peter Byrne/PA)
Jurgen Klopp celebrated on the pitch with his team following the win over Barcelona in last season's Champions League semi-final (Peter Byrne/PA)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is hoping an extraordinary week of football could have a dramatic finale, as his side aim to win the Premier League title on Sunday.

Klopp and his players need Manchester City to slip up in their away game at Brighton to open the door to a possible title triumph, with the Liverpool manager admitting he is not hopeful of ending the domestic season on a high.

Yet after a few days that included Liverpool's remarkable Champions League comeback against Barcelona and Tottenham's thrilling win against Ajax the following night, Klopp is hoping there is a final twist in the Premier League story.

"The week is not over yet, Sunday counts too," declared Klopp. "Of course we go for that. Nothing changed really.

"Most people expected me to sit here today and say 'not in the Champions League final and now it's difficult to be Premier League champion'.

"Now we are in the Champions League final and it's still difficult to be Premier League champion."

Klopp went on to suggest his side's victory against Barcelona will go down as one of the best wins in the history of the game, as he believes a Liverpool v Tottenham final in Madrid defied the odds.

"Maybe people expected Manchester City vs Barcelona in the final," he said. "You would maybe have put money on one English team being involved, but this is it now.

"We went through because of our desire and it was the same with Tottenham. They say the English clubs are doing well because of the money in this league, but it's more than that. Tuesday was one of the best moments in football history, not just Liverpool. Tottenham again was amazing the next night.

"But now it doesn't matter what happened in the Champions League. We focus on Wolves and another massive match for us."

Klopp paid tribute to his final Premier League opponents Wolves, who look set to secure a seventh place finish in the Premier League that also included a victory against Liverpool in the FA Cup in January.

"Wolves have played good football and are sensational counter-attacking," he added. "They stay calm and composed and Nuno is doing an incredible job there.

"That makes our game pretty difficult. Brighton, on the other side, it's their last game of the season. They play joyful football. Both teams need to win their games."

Mohamed Salah is set to return to the Liverpool starting line-up after a concussion injury ruled him out of the Barcelona tie, but he confirmed Roberto Firmino will still be on the sidelines as he hinted he will be ready to return to for the Champions League final.

Klopp also confirmed full-back Andy Robertson is fit to start against Wolves after picking up an injury in the Barcelona tie.

Klopp also joined the chorus of people questioning the choice of Baku as the Europa League final venue, as he emphasised with Liverpool and Tottenham fans facing a travel bill stretching into thousands of pounds to watch the Champions League final in Madrid.

"Travel agencies and hotels are not silly, obviously," he stated. "With Madrid, it is unbelievably expensive, but at least it’s not another part of the world.

"How can you have finals in Kiev and Baku? I don’t know what these travel guys have for breakfast. Last year we went to Kiev. Baku, we have no record of how to go there.

"These decisions must be much more sensible and reasonable. I don’t know how they do it. In the cities they get the final maybe they make a price cut that it will not be more than this in a specific category? A room that is usually £100 is now £2,700. I sympathise with that a lot."

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