Liverpool’s extra time win over Flamengo in Qatar saw them win a third piece of silverware in a little over six months, but now it’s back to domestic matters.
The Reds face second-place Leicester next, looking to extend their 10-point lead over the Foxes, who lost 3-1 to Man City while the Reds triumphed in Doha.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the match, Klopp explained why he was “not surprised at all” at Leicester’s improvement this season.
He highlighted offensive full-backs and a “super, super pairing” in the middle of defence as a key part of the Leicester side under Brendan Rodgers, before looking further forward to the players who will try to become the first to defeat Liverpool in the Premier League this season.
“It’s highest quality with all the things: desire, hard players, aggressive challengers, super footballers. The wings, creative, quick…then you have Jamie Vardy on top of that and Maddison in between.”
Joe Gomez has come in for praise for recent performances, and Klopp says that the entire squad must contribute and the team have an element of fortune to continue their form.
“We have only highest-quality players. It’s not the biggest group, it’s a small group and getting smaller week by week.
“But so far we could deal with it. To come through a season you need to be lucky in these moments that you can bring on a team which is able to win a game. That’s what we try to do.”
The boss was also asked about the task of playing at this time of year, when other leagues are taking a break as the Premier League hits top gear in terms of the number of games.
Klopp explained the need to balance work and life in this regard—and still keep getting the wins.
“What we have to make sure and what we try to do since I’m in, is how we can respect the social things like Christmas—we have to; first and foremost, we are human beings and there are family at home, stuff like this.
“We try to do all the important stuff football-wise around [these things]. That’s what we always did and do this year.
“Apart from that, the boys need to be smart enough to do the right things as well. What you all probably do at Christmas is for us not exactly the same; we still have to eat the right things, not what everybody else eats!
“That’s the only real difference. Apart from that, we prepare the football game and the boys are focused enough to do it in the right way.”
A win for the Reds would open up a 13-point gap between themselves and Leicester, with Man City not in action until December 27, away to Wolves.