Jurgen Klopp insists Crystal Palace‘s recent hold over Liverpool will count for nothing when the sides meet on Sunday.
Palace proved something of a bogey side for Klopp’s predecessor Brendan Rodgers, denting their title charge with an improbable 3-3 draw late in the 2013/14 campaign then doing the league double last season.
The 3-1 win at Anfield in Steven Gerrard’s last home appearance was particularly chastening. But Klopp has a clean slate heading into the fixture.
“It’s good to be new,” said the former Borussia Dortmund coach. “Somebody told me about the special history with Crystal Palace but I feel nothing when I hear it.
“It’s only football. In life, like sport, you can lose big but have to react in the right way…strike back, whatever.
“If we can use this experience then we should do it but nobody has to be afraid because of this opponent, it’s not impossible to have a result against Crystal Palace.
“We have a good chance to win, that’s what we will start to believe. Let’s do it tomorrow.”
Klopp’s preparation time has been disrupted somewhat by the Europa League trip to Rubin Kazan. A 1-0 win in Russia extended the club’s winning streak to three games but an arrival into Liverpool at 4am on Friday morning was not ideal.
Klopp refuses to countenance that as an excuse, though, and demands his team go about their task with the correct frame of mind.
“It’s better you don’t play midweek, it’s an advantage for Crystal Palace, but only if we are not prepared to fight,” he said.
“If we wait for easy game, no chance. If we are waiting for a difficult game then we try to think solutions for these difficulties.
“We are fit, we are healthy, we are young – not all of us, but the players at least!
“They all feel good, they all want to play.”
Klopp took a full-strength squad to Kazan but rested Philippe Coutinho, Martin Skrtel, Adam Lallana and Lucas Leiva from the starting side, meaning he is able to freshen up his XI.
“The good thing is everybody wants to play the next game. We all feel good, we all want to play, want to train,” he added.
“It’s a challenge of course, but we have pre-match and post-match analysts who work pretty well. We always feel prepared for the next opponent.
“We cannot train so much but we can work as long as we want. We have long meetings.
“We know everything we have to know about Crystal Palace.”
LIVERPOOL v CRYSTAL PALACE