Belfast Telegraph

We're playing through pain barrier in search of another miracle: Klopp


Prayer time: Jurgen Klopp hasn't given up title hope
Prayer time: Jurgen Klopp hasn't given up title hope

By Carl Markham

Liverpool's squad are pushing themselves to their physical limits as their Premier League title bid reaches its conclusion.

Captain Jordan Henderson required a half-time pain-killing injection to make it through the 90 minutes of their famous 4-0 Champions League win over Barcelona, and while left-back Andy Robertson was forced off at the interval, he too has already returned to training.

Ahead of what could be an historic weekend if results go their way, manager Jurgen Klopp said: "The famous three words in the dressing room this week are 'It's only pain'. It's very important for all the young lads to learn.

"Hendo said 'It's only pain', Robbo said 'It's only pain' but it was real pain. Robbo could deal with the pain but he could not activate the muscle. They should be fine."

Premier League top scorer Mohamed Salah is also set to return for tomorrow's match at home to Wolves after recovering from concussion sustained at Newcastle last weekend, although fellow forward Roberto Firmino is targeting the Champions League final on June 1 for his return from a groin problem.

Klopp added: "Mo looked good around the celebrations, and yesterday and the day before he was running outside. Today he will join in training.

"Bobby? Not for the weekend. But we have enough time (for the final)."

Liverpool have to win tomorrow and hope Brighton take points off Manchester City if they are to pip Pep Guardiola's side to the title, thereby ending a wait stretching back to 1990.

It is likely to be the last time Anfield sees Daniel Sturridge and Alberto Moreno, who are out of contract next month.

"I don't know, we will see. Both are out of contract? It's possible, but we will see," said Klopp.

That the issue of those, albeit fringe, players' futures has barely registered in the final months of the season is due to the brilliant season Liverpool are having.

Having secured back-to-back Champions League final appearances, they have pushed City all the way in the title race.

Even if they do not succeed tomorrow, a win will probably see them finish second with the third-highest points tally in Premier League history, beaten only by City's century last season and 98 in this campaign if, as expected, they overcome Brighton.

But having witnessed the remarkable comeback against Barcelona, having trailed 3-0 from the first leg, Klopp is still holding out for one more magic moment.

"It was a week of miracles, of big football moments, and from our point of view if there could be a big football moment at the weekend, that would be nice," he said.

"I think most expected me to say 'Okay, after not being in the Champions League final, it's difficult to be champions'. Well now we are in the Champions League final, and it is still difficult. But the only thing we can do is win the game. It looks like Wolves and Brighton are only there, that City will win and we will win."

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo insists he will plan for their crucial trip to Liverpool like it was a friendly having already sealed seventh place in their first year back in the Premier League, and Santo isn't adding extra importance to tomorrow's Anfield clash.

He said: "I want to be involved in every game, even in a pre-season game I'm always involved.

"The players rise for every game and training session, this is the philosophy. It's a big game and we want to play it."



Premier League

Anfield, Tomorrow, 3pm

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