Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool still have what it takes to be champions

Klopp is keeping calm ahead of the title run-in. (AFP)
Updated 04 March 2019

Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool still have what it takes to be champions

  • Reds boss still confident his side will end their 29-year wait for the top-flight title.
  • Liverpool now a point behind City with nine matches left.

LONDON: Jurgen Klopp has insisted that Liverpool still have what it takes to win the Premier League despite falling behind Manchester City in the race for the trophy. 

The Reds’ 0-0 draw at neighbors Everton on Sunday was their fourth draw  in six matches. Having been as many as seven points ahead of title rivals City in January Klopp and Co. now find themselves a point behind with just nine matches to go. 

Many are accusing Liverpool of bottling a great chance to win their first top-flight title since 1990, but while it may be too much to accuse them of being bottlers — they still have only lost one match all season — the current run of form is certainly worrying and is definitely a blip. 

But that does not worry Klopp who claimed he and his players remain confident they will be the ones lifting the Premier League trophy come May 12. 

“Who wants to be top of the table at the beginning of March?” Klopp said. “It is nice but there are lots of games to play. I’m completely fine with chasing.

“I saw the celebrations of Manchester City (on Saturday) — they had 900 chances and scored one goal, a shot with the wrong foot.

“You have to be ready for these chances.”

It seems strange to question the composure and resilience of a side that has been dominant since the start of the season and has been beaten just once in the league. But they have drawn blanks with increasing regularity, failing to score against not only Everton but also Manchester United and, in the Champions League, Bayern Munich. 

While some are indeed wondering whether the Reds have the fight to take on City down the home straight, Klopp certainly is not one of them. 

“I don’t have to give my players any advice, they know already (what they have to do),” the Liverpool boss said. 

“They’re not little boys any more. Sometimes you have the lead and people say it’s done when there are 20 games to go to the end of the season, and now they have one or two more points than us. It’s the beginning of March, who cares?

“I believe 100 percent in our chances. I know that game-by-game my feeling gets better about the boys because they look ready for it.”

English Premier League to restart on June 17

Updated 16 min 18 sec ago

English Premier League to restart on June 17

  • No matches have been played since Leicester’s 4-0 win over Aston Villa on March 9

LONDON: The Premier League season is set to restart on June 17, three months after it was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, British media reported on Thursday.

No matches have been played since Leicester's 4-0 win over Aston Villa on March 9, with Liverpool just two wins away from securing the title.

Top-flight clubs voted unanimously on Wednesday to return to contact training and were meeting again on Thursday to discuss issues such as the restart date and the rebate to broadcasters.

Matches would have to be played behind closed doors, much like they have been in Germany's Bundesliga since it restarted earlier in May.

The BBC reported that the first two matches would be Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal. Those matches are the two games in hand.

A full fixture list would then be played on the weekend of June 19-21.

So far, 12 people have tested positive for coronavirus after 2,752 tests across the Premier League.

La Liga in Spain hopes to return from June 11, while a crucial summit between Italian football officials and the country's sports minister will be held later on Thursday.

Liverpool were 25 points clear of 2019 champions Manchester City when the Premier league was shut down, on the verge of being crowned English champions for the first time in 30 years.

Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich City are in the relegation places.