Four of Liverpool’s next five games will take place at Anfield, an advantage Jurgen Klopp is ready to harness during a hectic fixture list that his side need to get through unscathed.
From Sunday onwards, Anfield’s capacity will be 57,000 and above after the club were given the green light to start the phased opening of the upper tier of the new Anfield Road Stand.
Liverpool have won all 11 matches at home this season and that record holds them in good stead for what is to come, with Klopp acknowledging how important Anfield will be in the next 17 days.
“If we don’t have to travel it is better and if we have Anfield at our backs it is better as well, definitely,” Klopp said of having home advantage as he previewed Sunday’s match.
“But we will need Anfield, we will need Anfield, definitely. How I said, it’s really tough, and they’re all big games.
“It’s better than if these four games were away games, but it’s still a big task.”
Liverpool know that victories against Man United and Arsenal will guarantee their place at the top of the table on Christmas Day, but safely navigating the “brutal” schedule is all that is on Klopp’s mind.
The manager said: “Exactly like that (a crucial period of the season). The problem again is it is [playing] Thursday, Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday, Tuesday. So tough.
“We have to get through this, obviously. We already have now our injuries and we will see who is available for all the games, but we need pretty much all of them to get through somehow.
“For all the teams it is tough, and so you’re right. Is it crucial? Probably yes, it is for all of us.
“We just have to make sure we try to always find a way to get into the next game and find a way to win it.”
What will certainly help during this period to save energy is to stop going behind on the scoreboard and needing to muster a dramatic comeback.
They can feel great at the time but with two recent examples, we could do with asserting more control – let’s hope a bigger Anfield can help with just that.