Liverpool meet Arsenal for the fourth time this season with a chance to move to within just one point of Man City, but Jurgen Klopp is not counting his chickens just yet.
Arsenal vs. Liverpool
Premier League (29) | The Emirates
Wednesday, March 16, 2022 | 8.15pm (GMT)
Here are six points from the manager ahead of what is another crucial league game:
Salah looking likely?
It was a rare sight to see Salah walk off the pitch with an injury at Brighton but despite some swelling and some pain in his knee, he could yet feature at Arsenal.
“Looks like [he will be fit],” Klopp said. “Mo is a tough cookie and was a little bit capsular, and we were quite lucky with it.
“I only got a message before the press conference that he is ready to train, so we will see how that looks.”
It’s great news for Liverpool but with the options at hand they could even play it safe with a start from the bench with Luis Diaz, Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino all available.
Kostas Tsimikas and James Milner, meanwhile, are out due to illness.
But what about Mo’s agent?
After Klopp’s comments regarding Salah’s contract last week, his agent Ramy Abbas Issa was quick to take to Twitter to post a series of laughing emojis.
A thinly-veiled response and an immature one at that and the manager was, of course, asked about it all.
“I’m not on Twitter, another good reason for that,” he said. “He’s in a good mood but I spoke about that and actually, I shouldn’t have.
“It is like it is but you got me in a trap. All of a sudden I created headlines and the last thing I want to do is create headlines.
“It’s all fine and I don’t know about any reactions, not what I’m concerned about. It’s how it should be in this moment, the decisive parties are in contact. The rest we will see.”
There was another twist in the title race with Man City dropping points at Crystal Palace on Monday, and Klopp did watch some of the fixture unfold but he’s not counting his chickens before they hatch.
“I watched it for 65 mins, analysing reasons, to be honest. I don’t often have time to watch games in real-time.
“City did really well, just didn’t finish situations off. Last 30 minutes I didn’t watch it, at some point I saw the result and was surprised.
“Why should it [change the mood]? It would if it was in our mind, but we play Arsenal and we are still four points behind, you can’t count before and now think it’s only one point. We have to play this game.”
Exactly right, Jurgen. One game at a time, starting with Arsenal.
‘As annoying as possible’
The objective this season is clear and to do so, it requires the Reds to be as “annoying as possible” in the words of Klopp.
But all the talking has to be done on the pitch.
“Keep being as annoying as possible, doesn’t help me saying it here.
“We are very ambitious and determined to do great stuff and we are respectful of the great team they are and all the other teams.
“We will give it a proper try, I will tell you.”
Another tough test, another final
As for Arsenal, they’re in a rich vein of form and cannot be simply overlooked and Klopp knows his side needs to get off to a better start in games with each and every one a “final.”
“Since we last met we played 12 times they played six, oops! It’s a tough one tomorrow night but I’m still looking forward to it,” Klopp said.
“Arsenal have a clear idea how they want to play football. Possession-based, young, full of talent, full of joy. They have an experienced striker with Lacazette and then three very exciting young boys behind them.
“It’s final after final after final after final after final that we play.”
Love for No. 32
Joel Matip has enjoyed his most consistent season yet in regard to being fit and available but as for if he’s in his best form, Klopp was of the mind it’s just the most ‘obvious’ form.
“No. It’s the most ‘obvious’ form because of the outcome of these situations, scores, sets one up – Joel is pretty consistent since he’s here when fit,” the manager said.
“He didn’t play 100 percent outstanding games, but a lot, and now is just the most obvious because of scoring and Player of the Month, which is absolutely great.
“Was before in a similar shape and long, long, long may it continue!”