The 2023-24 Premier League title race is shaping up to be one of the very best in history, and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp isn't allowing himself to look that far ahead (at least not publicly).
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Liverpool sit top of the Premier League table but after their defeat at Arsenal in Matchweek 23 they're just two points ahead of both Arsenal and Manchester City and the latter have a game in-hand. If reigning champs City win that game in-hand then they jump above Liverpool and into first place.
With the shock news that Jurgen Klopp is leaving Liverpool at the end of the season, there is extra focus on everything Liverpool do and their players seem determined to send him off in style.
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What does Klopp think about the title race?
Klopp discussed Liverpool’s loss at Arsenal and admitted the better team won and his side just weren't at it as defensive mistakes a lack of energy cost them dear.
When it comes to the title race, Klopp is staying positive and is focused on the next game: Burnley at Anfield on Saturday.
"We didn't lose recently an awful lot of football games, we know that. That means dealing with defeats is a challenge – for humankind actually," Klopp said. "We have now a rather longer week, I think we play on Saturday, so we will use that for rest, we will use that for training and will be properly prepared for the next game. Nobody here expects, in our dressing room at least, that we just will fly over Burnley or whatever. They fight for their targets, it's a really talented group, unlucky in moments and stuff like this.
"But it's a home game and we can turn things around, meaning the first step, and then we will see. Today nobody celebrates the champion and nobody is relegated as far as I know, so we have all the chance to create our own destiny. Let's see what happens."
Liverpool have been here before
Liverpool have been here before with Manchester City.
But Liverpool, Arsenal, and maybe even Tottenham or Aston Villa look set to push City all the way and out of those three contenders to knock City off their throne, Liverpool have the most experience and seem the most likely to hang in there.
Klopp's new-look attack is purring and even if the balance is still being worked on in midfield, this Liverpool side look like the team which pushed City for the title almost perennially from 2017-22.
Add in the fact that Klopp is leaving at the end of the season and there is an extra spark about this side and almost extra motivation to win big again, once last time, for the German coach.
For now, Klopp is staying calm and he's got Liverpool into a great position with Mohamed Salah back from injury soon and their attack-minded midfield giving them an extra dimension. Now, can their defensive unit stay solid enough to let them hang in there with City until the business end of the season?
Their draw at Manchester City in November told us that Liverpool are more resilient than we thought and they have what it takes to once again go toe-to-toe with City for the title. Their defeat at Arsenal told us to hold back a little and maybe they aren't totally ready for another title charge again.
Liverpool may come up short but once again they're in the title race. That is real progress. Even if Klopp doesn't get the fairytale ending many feel he deserves.