Liverpool host Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. The Reds are chasing down a top-four spot and Champions League qualification after seeing hopes of retaining their league title fade away after a disappointing season.
They finally ended their Anfield hoodoo against Aston Villa a fortnight ago, however, before again dropping points, away at Leeds United, on Monday evening, where Sadio Mane’s goal was cancelled out late by Diego Llorente. It has been a tumultuous week with the launch and subsequent collapse of the now failed European Super League still raw in the minds of supporters. But Jurgen Klopp will be hoping to stay focused on the task at hand and an all-important three points.
Two big wins have eased the relegation fears around Newcastle and the pressure on manager Steve Bruce, with the victory over high-flying West Ham a week ago seeing them move eight points clear of the drop. There remains work to be done, however, with anything away at Anfield a bonus as Bruce looks to secure safety and another year in the top flight.
Despite a fractious week, in which his own relationship with Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group has been tested after being kept in the dark about the proposals, Klopp insists he has not fallen out of love with football.
“Never with the game. Just with the things around. It’s a big one, I felt it the same way, but I cannot constantly talk about it, think about it,” he said in his pre-match press conference. “But I never lost my love for the game. We had so many things going on this year and we always tried to get through.
“I said after the (Leeds) game, if someone asked me ‘What are you missing from this year?’, in terms of what could have happened on top of all the rubbish that happened to you, I would have said ‘The Super League is coming up!’. It was a lot but it had nothing to do with the game. All the things around it? The game stayed the same. It got better and better and better.”
We will have all the latest updates and analysis for you throughout Saturday afternoon here: