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Liverpool won’t rely on Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino to seal top 4, says Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp admits it would be wrong to rely on Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino to carry Liverpool until the end of the season.

The pair sparked a turnaround at Stoke last weekend when they both came off the bench at half-time to score a goal apiece as the Reds came from behind to win 2-1.

Firmino had been rested after enduring a punishing schedule in recent weeks, while his compatriot was recovering from illness, but both will start at West Brom on Sunday.

With a side shorn of mainstays Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane, the boys from Brazil offer a much-needed injection of quality, as their appearance for the second half at the bet365 Stadium showed.

However, Klopp insists the pair cannot be expected to produce heroics on their own to single-handedly secure Champions League qualification.

“It’s very important that players can play together, but if they are only two then it’s pretty difficult still,” he said.

Gini Wijnaldum said it after the game, I think—yes, they had a big impact on the game, that’s 100 percent true, but the whole team played better in the second half.

“If we would have played like that in the first half and Roberto and Phil would have been on the pitch, I can only imagine if the difference would still have been that big.

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 8, 2017: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring the second goal against Stoke City with team-mates Philippe Coutinho Correia, Emre Can and Daniel Sturridge during the FA Premier League match at the Bet365 Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“But with all playing better and these two highest quality players on the pitch, we could change the game. That was fantastic, really good.

“That they are really, really good friends—maybe best friends—and it helps us a lot.

“That they play together in the Brazil national team helps us; that they are both so unbelievably skilled helps us a lot.

“But, again, if they tried to do it alone…no chance. It’s about fitting in the game, fitting in the team.

“And obviously they are that good that they would fit in nearly each team. It’s good to have them here.”

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 8, 2017: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the 2-1 victory over Stoke City during the FA Premier League match at the Bet365 Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Arsenal‘s unexpected defeat at Crystal Palace on Monday has eased the pressure slightly on third-placed Liverpool, who are nine points ahead of the Gunners in sixth having played two matches more.

Fifth-placed Manchester United are six behind with two matches in hand but are still involved in the Europa League.

The average points tally for a top-four finish in the last 10 years is 67—Liverpool currently have 63 so that mark is likely to be exceeded this season.

Over the last decade the 79 points recorded by Arsenal in 2013-14 was the highest posted by a fourth-placed finisher, although fifth-placed Everton finished seven points further back offering something of a substantial cushion.

Klopp has not set his side a points target, however.

“I don’t think about it,” he said. “What we can probably say is that if we would win all the rest of the games then we would be in the Champions League.

“I think it’s pretty sure—even when a few teams have [played] less games than we have because they play against each other they cannot get all the points.

“But it will be difficult enough. The challenge of West Brom is big enough and has all our respect and all our concentration. That’s what we are doing.

“We should be at our best because West Brom have played an outstanding season.

“We know about their qualities, we know about their style, we know that they are really experienced—maybe the most experienced team in the Premier League.

“That’s another thing. And they play at home. A lot of things which cause us work.

“But we’ve nothing else to do, so we go there and we want to show again that we have really big targets this season.

“We want to go for it and we’ll really fight for the result.”

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