Jurgen Klopp insists there has been no let up in Liverpool’s intensive training regime despite their good start and lack of midweek European action.
The only two teams above them in the table were both in Champions League action this week while Klopp’s side have had an eight-day break between fixtures against Crystal Palace and Watford, who they face on Sunday.
But while City were plotting Barcelona’s downfall and the Gunners were venturing out to Bulgaria and back, Liverpool’s players were still being put through their paces at home by Klopp as he looks to ensure their early-season form is not frittered away.
And that is why the German does not believe the absence of Liverpool and fourth-placed Chelsea from continental competitions this year gives them any extra edge over their domestic foes.
“For the last six, seven, eight years I’ve always been travelling through Europe and I never thought, ‘oh it’s too much’ or something,” Klopp argued.
“We don’t have to travel but Watford didn’t travel and that’s the only thing I’m thinking about. They have the same situation we have.
“I said at the end of last season, we have to show that we are using the time for training, but over the whole season not over the first 10 games. That’s the situation we’re in now.
“What’s an advantage? The moment you feel an advantage it’s already gone. It’s only our situation. Did you ask the same to Antonio Conte? They have the same situation.
“Maybe Man United have it from January on – at the moment it’s maybe not the most positive thing and then from January on it’s very positive not being in Europe any more? A lot of things will change.
“This moment for us is very intensive because we need to stay concentrated. Don’t think about the circumstances, use them, use the training time, prepare yourself for the next game and, in an ideal world, win it.”
Watford boss Walter Mazzarri is backing his goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes to win the battle of the Brazilians. Gomes will be tasked with keeping out fellow countrymen Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino at Anfield, who have already struck eight goals between them this season.
Mazzarri admits, together, Coutinho and Firmino form one of the best attacks in the division.
“Yes, in my opinion they are one of the best,” Mazzarri said. “These are Brazilian problems so we hope they cancel each other out and it means we will not concede a goal.
“Gomes is a great goalkeeper so hopefully he will do his best on Sunday and we will see how it goes.”