Klopp wants Euro glory despite title push
Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool are going all out to defend their Champions League crown as it will not hamper their Premier League title bid.
The Reds boss refuses to entertain the thought a Champions League exit will enhance their bid for a first domestic title in 30 years, and is desperate to stay in the competition.
Liverpool currently top the Premier League by eight points from Leicester and a massive 14 points from defending champions Manchester City.
However, their European crown could be under threat against Red Bull Salzburg on Tuesday night and, if they do not secure a point in Austria, they will face the prospect of dropping into the Europa League.
There is an argument, should that happen, Klopp could then write off the competition and play a second-string side in order to concentrate on the Premier League.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 9, 2019
However, Klopp completely dismissed that theory when quizzed about the situation in his pre-match press conference in Austria.
“Can we go out of the Champions League and the Europa League?” Klopp said, pointing out exit from the Champions League would not rid them of European football.
When it was suggested to him he could field a team of youngsters in the Europa League, he also said that would be impossible.
“So, we are not part of these thoughts obviously,” he said. “We are really ambitious in that tournament – no really. So yeah, actually we want to go until the end again – we have nothing better to do in the middle of May or whenever the final is played.”
“That was cool (last season) and we want to do it again. Absolutely nothing else is on our mind.”
An injury scare to Dejan Lovren at Bournemouth on Saturday threatened to leave Klopp with just two fit central defenders in Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez, but the Croatia international has been passed fit and travelled with the squad.