Jurgen Klopp eyes immediate retribution as Liverpool face Chelsea again

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Jurgen Klopp has his sights set on immediate revenge over Chelsea after the Blues ended Liverpool’s perfect start to the season.

Eden Hazard’s superb late solo effort after coming off the bench clinched a 2-1 Carabao Cup victory for Chelsea at Anfield on Wednesday night.

Both teams fielded largely second string outfits and will be back to full strength for this weekend’s blockbuster Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge.

Eden Hazard's strike sunk Liverpool in the Carabao Cup (Martin Rickett/PA)
Eden Hazard’s strike sunk Liverpool in the Carabao Cup (Martin Rickett/PA)

The Liverpool manager said: “We want to strike back, of course, but you lose once, it can happen.

“Striking back is a duty in sport, a big part of what I love. In a season you always play twice. It’s not easy to play a team in August and then say in May ‘let’s strike back’ but in three days, it’s possible. Let’s try.

“It will not be an easy game, both teams know that. But the best preparation for the Saturday game is the Wednesday game, because you can never know more about an opponent than in a match against them.

The league leaders can open up a five-point gap between themselves and Chelsea if they continue their 100 per cent top-flight record this term at teatime on Saturday.

But that is not Klopp’s concern as he said: “I don’t think in this category.

“It’s difficult enough to try to win the game or get a point at Chelsea, I don’t think about the five-point gap, and the five-point gap with 31 games to go is nothing. It’s only about gaining points on our account.”

He also refused to countenance a setback against Maurizio Sarri’s men in midweek as a blessing in disguise, despite Liverpool’s congested fixture list easing a little following their EFL Cup exit.

He said: “We do the job to play all the games somebody gives us. All competitions we are in, we want to win. I said before the game, the stadium will be full which means we have to be at 100 per cent. That’s what we tried to do.

“It was a real cup game, and both teams showed how important this cup is for them. And I like that. We lost, and that’s not cool, but that’s all.”

Klopp expects Trent Alexander-Arnold and Georginio Wijnaldum to feature against Chelsea after illness and a knock respectively, but Virgil van Dijk is a major injury doubt.

Liverpool v Southampton – Premier League – Anfield
Virgil van Dijk, centre, exacerbated a rib injury against Southampton last week (Dave Thompson/PA)

Klopp added: “Virgil is a world class player, there’s no doubt about that. And if you miss a world class player, it’s always not cool.

“If Virgil is fit and can play, then he will play. But if not, then obviously we have options and that’s really good.

“We could play football before Virgil van Dijk and we can play football without Virgil van Dijk, thank God.”

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