After a run of cup fixtures that saw them come out unscathed, Liverpool welcome Arsenal and Manchester United to Anfield in the space of 4 days.
The schedule of the English Premier League has already had its toll on Jurgen Klopp who has now suggested that he loves to play top notch matches back to back.
When asked if he relishes this double header, Klopp said, “Yes, I love this. I really love it, but that does not mean I don’t like all of the other games!
“But a week like this, it’s not one where you have to say to the players, ‘Come on, be concentrated’ and things like this. Everybody is in the race, everybody is fully focused on these games and that’s cool.
“I’ll enjoy the work this week and hopefully I can enjoy the games!”
Arsenal go into the game on Wednesday 2 points free at the top of the table and will be hoping to take all three points to cement their place at the top of the pile and the Liverpool manager was quick to point out that his team will have to be at their best to get anything out of this game.
“I think it’s a clear style that Arsenal play, so it’s not the most complicated build up – they usually leave the first ball for Petr Cech and then they fight for the second ball, then they start the football machine and want to play football,” he explained.
“You should defend the first ball, try to get the second ball and if not, you have to play pressing in midfield where the ball is. That’s what we know and to avoid counter-attacks, the best thing to do is to finish your own offensive situations always.
“Of course, not all of these situations will be goals but you need the finishing of these situations. If not, then counter-pressing is a good thing to do, it’s the shortest way to defend, and that’s what we should try.
“We need good organization for this, we need a clear idea and in our own game, we need a clear direction – that’s the most important thing.
“Playing football at its best, that’s what you have to do against Arsenal. You cannot get a point or win against Arsenal with an average performance, you need your best performance and if you can bring this onto the pitch then it is at minimum, exciting!”
It will not be easy for Liverpool to go into the game knowing that they will face their rivals at the weekend but Klopp has played down the effect it might have on his players. He was clear to state that his squad is only looking to get a result in the Arsenal fixture even before thinking about the game against United.
Of course I know a lot about these games – it is very special and I am looking forward to it, but it’s not possible to be fully focused on one game and then be focused on another,” he stated.
“That doesn’t work, so I can’t say too much – we have to talk about it after Arsenal with the feeling from that game.
“For sure, it will be very special for me and my first derby. I was not here when we played against Everton. We’ve played against City, yes, but I know about the difference between City and United. It’s a cool thing and I am looking forward to it.”
The manager also felt that the Anfield crowd will have a huge role to play in both the fixtures.
“I don’t want to make it too big and my English is not good enough to explain it, but for me if you are in a club together with the supporters then you should be if not as a family then as a group of best friends, and for this everybody has to play their role, do their job and all these things.
“We can’t do what we have to do in the best way without the supporters, I think everybody knows this. But then in the other way, we know what we have to do and then it is easier for them to give us support during a game.
“I hope they are looking forward to these games too, that they don’t get nervous if we are not 4-0 in the lead after five minutes, and that we are all ready for a fight, a big challenge and really good and interesting football games.
“If everybody plays their role at best then I think we can win.”