Jurgen Klopp knows Liverpool must cut off the supply line to Jamie Vardy when they travel to Leicester City in a meeting of the top two in the Premier League.
The Reds return to domestic duties on December 26 following their Club World Cup triumph in Qatar, with a trip to the King Power Stadium offering them the chance to extend their lead in the table.
Leicester missed the chance to cut the gap last weekend when they went down 3-1 to reigning champions Manchester City, meaning Liverpool remain 10 points clear ahead of a game against their nearest rivals.
However, if they want to put further daylight between themselves and the Foxes, they will need to keep Vardy quiet.
The former England international has scored 17 league goals already in this campaign, though Klopp recognises Brendan Rodgers’ side are far from a one-man band.
“He’s an exceptional striker, since I’ve come to England he’s probably one of the top three,” he said.
“He’s always scoring, difficult to defend, always on the shoulder, running at your back, playing with the offside line. Really, really dangerous.
“But in football the only thing you can do is try to avoid as many passes to him as you can. That’s what we’ll try.
“Yet Leicester is not only Jamie Vardy – Brendan has done an excellent job there. They are a proper top-class team, the quality they have is exceptional.”
The newest addition to the Champions Wall pic.twitter.com/kxzZvrl7Oq
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 24, 2019
Liverpool’s sizeable advantage at the summit makes them firm favourites to be crowned Premier League champions for the first time, yet Klopp refuses to get too carried away by their position.
The German revealed how those inside the club are good at “shutting the doors” when it comes to talk of winning the title, allowing them to maintain their focus on the next challenge.
“We are not in this situation because we thought things are over before they are over,” he said. “We are not in the situation we are in because we didn’t take each game we played so far 100 per cent seriously.
“We always have the same focus and that is what it will be with Leicester. All the talk of, ‘if we will do this, or do this’ is absolutely not important and has absolutely no influence.
“We are pretty good at shutting the doors around us. We just play the next game then we have a couple of hours to recover and play the next game.”
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