Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool cannot think about Chelsea's recent form ahead of Tuesday night

Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool cannot think about Chelsea's recent form ahead of Tuesday night

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp says his team cannot get distracted by league leaders Chelsea when the two teams face off at Anfield on Tuesday night in a game that could decide whether the Reds are competing for the title or a top-four spot until May.

Charlie Malam

Jürgen Klopp insists Liverpool must not take into account Chelsea's sensational winning form when the two go head-to-head at Anfield on Tuesday night, a game he believes every other team in the division will hope they can win in order to keep the title race alive.

Antonio Conte's side come into this encounter eight points clear at the top of the Premier League and 10 ahead of the fourth-placed Reds after winning 14 of their last 15 top-flight outings.

Indeed, the Blues have only failed to win four games from 22 this season - including a 2-1 reverse to Liverpool at Stamford Bridge back in September.

Yet Chelsea, since switching to a 3-4-3 formation, have maintained electric pace ever since and are threatening to run away with it as the season approaches the business end.

On the other hand, Klopp's charges have stumbled in recent weeks. They have won one of just eight games in 2017 and crashed out of both domestic cup competitions last week with defeats to Southampton and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Those defeats followed a damaging league loss against Swansea City, with the trio of setbacks completing three successive home defeats after going unbeaten at Anfield for over a year.

Regardless of the contrasting form of both sides, Klopp insists Liverpool must produce their best possible performance in order to complete a league double over the capital club and reignite hopes of ending a 27-year wait for a league title this term.

Klopp: We're in a difficult moment, but it's possible for us to beat Chelsea

The German told journalists on Monday suggested that "a lot of teams in the league" will be on Liverpool's side and wanting them to win due to the nature of Chelsea's dominance.

"That maybe happens not too often but of course, they are doing an outstanding job until now. They have played a fantastic season," he admitted.

He said that for Liverpool it would be "very important" to get the "three points" and to get "back in a positive way", acknowledging: "I know what will happen after the game if we lose and that's the fourth game in a row [Liverpool have lost]. It can always be negative." 

Yet Klopp believes that "on the other side" even if Liverpool "would have won the last 10 games in a row" then it "would not make it more likely to beat Chelsea."

He declared that the Anfield outfit have "no responsibility" for the form of the Londoners and their "nearly perfect season" because they "beat them once" but have "no influence" on the rest of their results.

"We play a second time against them and so will try everything to keep the points in Liverpool," vowed Klopp, who said "everybody can imagine this."

Asked further about Chelsea's commanding position at the top of the league table, the Reds boss said he "can say nothing" but "have only one thing to do" which is to "try everything to keep these three points here."

He reiterated that they have "no influence" after Tuesday's showdown and said that even if they lost on L4 and "win the rest" of their games, they "are probably the champions" which is not Liverpool's "thing to think about."

Klopp believes the clash is "really interesting challenge" for his team because Chelsea "are in a good moment", insisting: "That means something but not everything. That's football. We lost a few games we should have won and I think a lot of people think in this moment it could be difficult for Liverpool, and it is difficult no doubt about that, but [winning is] possible."

Reds boss says Blues have mix of 'quality' and 'winning mentality' 

According to Klopp, Chelsea are profiting from the nous and previous winning experience of being league champions in 2014-15 under Jose Mourinho - with the nucleus of their squad still consisting of that year's triumphant team.

He said that Conte's team "play really good" which is "100 per-cent sure" and added: "They had, in a few games, the right amount of luck that you need. [Diego] Costa decided or [Eden] Hazard decided it and the rest was not world-class. But, with all these results, they are a real threat."

The Liverpool manager hailed Chelsea's system, insisting that they have an eleven that plays "nearly all the time" and there aren't "a lot of changes, in the Premier League especially."

Klopp said Chelsea are "doing well" which shows "how progress can work", insisting that with such "quality players" even "after a bad season" last term, they have the "experience and an age where they still want to get something" and "a manager who is used to working with a team like this."

Klopp believes this current squad "was educated by Jose Mourinho and then with Conte", whom he labelled a manager who "uses these kind of players outstandingly well."

"They do well, I cannot say different," he stated. "But we only play twice against them, the rest is their job. We have to play our own season. They have quality combined with this winning mentality which Chelsea had when they became champions two years ago."

Klopp said that the visitors' brand of football is "really experienced football" which is "not always entertaining" but if it is possible for Chelsea to do so, they play "entertaining" football - adding: "If they are 1-0 up, nothing happens anymore. That's quality, actually, so it's interesting to watch."