Jürgen Klopp has said that he will never again take managing a team inside a packed stadium for granted and that he is prepared for Liverpool to lose the ability to receive even 2,000 spectators, something that only they and Everton in the Premier League can. do under the New Covid-19 level restrictions in England.
The spread of a new variant of the coronavirus has halted the widespread return of fans to the grounds, with several regions previously at level 2, allowing crowds of up to 2,000 to move to the stricter levels 3 and 4. The massive tests The program launched in Liverpool last month has helped the city’s two Premier League clubs to keep some of their turnstiles open. While Klopp said that has not and will not provide his players with a significant competitive advantage, he did acknowledge the positive sentiment they get from being able to perform in front of some fans.
Liverpool have played in front of 2,000 of their own fans twice this season, against Wolves and Tottenham, and will do so again when West Brom visit Anfield on Sunday. The match is the only top-notch match with spectators this weekend, with Everton playing away at Sheffield United on December 26.
“It is a huge benefit from an emotional point of view [to play in front of fans]. It’s nice, much nicer, ”Klopp said. “In terms of results, it hasn’t made the biggest difference: we play in an empty stadium with 2,000 fans and we win most of the games, so it’s not an advantage.
“It may continue for a long time that we can keep people in the stadium, but with the new tier system it doesn’t seem likely. There are still bigger problems and at the moment they say it is not possible [to have spectators] then we have to wait for the next moment, it is possible again.
“What this year has shown us is enjoying the good things while they are there, and I will never, never in my life take a full stadium for granted. Working in Mainz, Dortmund and Liverpool, I don’t think I have played a home game for a long time in a sold-out stadium. I enjoyed it but didn’t think about how special it is. I will do much more in the future. “
Liverpool host West Brom with their sights set on a third consecutive league win. The task seems relatively straightforward given the contrasting form of the teams, with visitors to Merseyside losing six and drawing one of their last eight games. However, they are now led by Sam Allardyce, the latest coach to lead an opposition team to a league win at Anfield, having done so with Crystal Palace in April 2017.
“What I hope is a tough opponent,” Klopp said. “It’s always tough against Sam Allardyce’s teams. Well organized, don’t make a big fuss with possession, and in the situation West Brom is in, there will be a proper fight. “
James Milner and Xherdan Shaqiri could be a part of Liverpool after having been out for some time with hamstring and muscle injuries respectively. Thiago Alcântara has returned to training after more than two months out with a knee injury, but the midfielder will not be ready to play on Sunday.
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