Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

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Jurgen Klopp says the title is Man City's to lose, but won't give up hope

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp refuses to concede the Premier League title is out of their reach but admits no-one will have a chance if Manchester City maintain their current form.

At the weekend Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino effectively said they could not catch City, who are 13 points ahead of his side, but Klopp would not follow suit.

He said he was concentrating on their own form as they had to be in a position to capitalise should Pep Guardiola's team start to falter.

"We are close enough to see it (the title race)," said the German.

"They won (against Huddersfield) and as long as they win no-one else has a chance. If they stop winning and our team is then in a good moment then it is possible you can still get them.

"We want to have the next three (points) and then the next three and then the next three because if anyone struggles we need to be there.

"But for us at the moment they (City) are too far above us and if they keep on going like this no-one has a chance and it is already decided."

Liverpool will look to extend their six-match unbeaten run in all competitions at Stoke on Wednesday, where they have won on their last three visits.

Key men Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are set to return to the side after being left out of Saturday's 1-1 draw with Chelsea in favour of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Daniel Sturridge but Klopp believes their replacements proved an important point for his longer-term thinking in their absence.

"We had to make a few changes and it makes absolute sense in this part of the season to use the strength of the squad," added the manager, who also has midfielder Emre Can fit again and will make a late decision on whether Dejan Lovren can return to the squad.

"So if you use a few players you have to leave out a few others and that's what we did but it is not completely unlikely they (Mane and Firmino) will start.

"By the way we don't 'rest', we use our players. We thought against Chelsea maybe we needed fresh legs and I thought it worked quite well.

"It is a very important sign for the squad from my side that I show the faith in all the boys and it was very important for me that the boys showed me they were 100 per cent ready.

"Probably we will make one or two changes from the last game to the next game and then maybe not for the next game.

"We will see how we deal with it, it all depends on the impression I get during games and during the sessions."

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