Jurgen Klopp has challenged Liverpool to repeat their performance against Manchester City in midweek on a consistent basis as they get set to visit Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Sunday.
The Reds moved within six points of fourth-placed City in the table with a 3-0 win over Manuel Pellegrini’s men at Anfield on Wednesday, earning a measure of revenge having lost against them in the League Cup final on penalties last weekend.
Klopp was understandably delighted with his team’s display in that victory and is seeking more of the same as Liverpool look to push for a return to the Champions League in addition to progressing in the Europa League.
“I was never in doubt we could do things like this. We have to perform all the time. We have to learn to do this,” Klopp said.
“We understand a little more about what I want from the players and what they want from me.
“We have to use this new quality in two very important tournaments.”
Yannick Bolasie returned from a hip injury for Palace’s 2-2 draw with Sunderland on Tuesday and Klopp is wary of the threat posed by the winger, who broke the deadlock when Alan Pardew’s side won 2-1 at Anfield back in November.
“He is a quality player. Together with [Wilfried] Zaha. I would like to say they have no self-confidence, but that is not the truth,” Klopp added.
“It’s not the easy place to collect points.
“We lost to them at home. We need to take points back. It will be hard work, but we have to show we will be ready.”
While Bolasie is back, James McArthur (ankle) and Jason Puncheon (hamstring) remain on the sidelines and Connor Wickham and goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey are both doubts.
Daniel Sturridge is back in training for Liverpool after missing the win over City, but Lucas Leiva is set to be out for five to six weeks with a quad issue and Mamadou Sakho could be unavailable because of a head injury.
Palace are 11 games without a win in the league, a run that has left them only nine points above the relegation zone.
Pardew said of their form: “It’s not been a winless run, we’ve had three against Premier League teams in the [FA] cup. But in the league we can’t seem to get a win.
“Until we get our first win we can’t look up the table. We’ve got a really good side when we’re all fit.”
Key Opta stats:
– Crystal Palace have won six of their last 11 meetings with Liverpool in all competitions (W6 D2 L3).
– Jordon Mutch has scored three goals in four Premier League appearances against Liverpool.
– Liverpool have won just one of their last seven Premier League away games against London teams (W1 D3 L3).
– Palace have gone nine Premier League games since they last kept a clean sheet, conceding 21 goals in that run.
– Wickham has netted a brace in each of his last two Premier League matches, having scored one goal in his 18 PL games before that.