Liverpool v Swansea City: Klopp stays grounded despite strong form
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says the defeat to Crystal Palace earlier this month should serve as a warning not to underestimate Swansea City in the Premier League this weekend.
Klopp’s side welcome Swansea to Anfield on Sunday, eight days on from their impressive 4-1 victory at title-chasing Manchester City, which preceded a hard-fought 2-1 win over Bordeaux in the Europa League.
Following another positive week on Merseyside, with captain Jordan Henderson back in training after a foot injury, Klopp’s men will be fancied to maintain their push for the upper reaches of the Premier League against a Swansea side with one win from their last nine.
However, a 2-1 defeat to Palace at Anfield prior to the international break remains fresh in Klopp’s memory.
“I don’t know who will win the league and I don’t care about this, I don’t think about this in this moment,” he said on Friday.
“It’s only important to concentrate on your own situation and how you can make your own progress. That’s what we think about – if it would help to think about the end of the season, I would do it, but I know it does nothing.
“We have to be in the game from the first second, it’s a big challenge as we saw against Crystal Palace. But if we take Crystal Palace as the last warning, then it was important for us.
“If everybody is prepared for a big fight, it will be a good game.”
Klopp will likely be without Daniel Sturridge after it was revealed the striker will have a scan on a foot injury, while midfielder Lucas Leiva is suspended.
Garry Monk’s only absentee is former Liverpool man Jonjo Shelvey after he picked up a fifth booking of the season in the 2-2 draw against AFC Bournemouth.
Monk – who stated this week that he had the confidence of the board amid suggestions his job may be under threat – saw his side battle back from 2-0 down to salvage a point last weekend following defeats to Arsenal and Norwich City.
The Swansea boss has taken a shine to Klopp since his appointment in October but warned his side will continue to scrap for points.
“I think he’s done great, he’s come in and seems a great character,” Monk told reporters. “I’m not sure how he’s worked behind the scenes but in front of the cameras and the way he is, he’s very personable.
“He speaks exceptionally well and obviously the team are doing very well. They’re in a good run of form. But this week’s been about concentrating the players on getting back to what they do best.
“If we get a couple of solid performances and results I think you’ll see confidence grow. They’re difficult moments as a player and manager, but we’re not going to sit and cry about it.
“We’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves, we’re going to come out fighting.”
Key Opta stats:
– Liverpool have won five and lost none of their last seven meetings in all competitions with Swansea City.
– Swansea have won just one of their last seven Premier League away games (W1 D2 L4) and just one of the last nine overall (W1 D3 L5).
– Jonjo Shelvey has found the back of the net in three of the last four meetings between Liverpool and Swansea, scoring twice for the Swans and netting one own goal.
– Under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool have averaged a goal every six shots so far this season, compared to one every 10 under predecessor Brendan Rodgers.
– Liverpool have won 11 and lost none of their 14 league meetings with the Swans at Anfield, scoring an average of 3.3 goals per match and netting four or more in nine of those games.