EletiofeJürgen Klopp says Liverpool title will come in most...

Jürgen Klopp says Liverpool title will come in most difficult season ever


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  • ‘Give us an asterisk because it’s the most difficult season ever’
  • Liverpool have fully fit squad to face Everton at Goodison Park

Liverpool training session

Jürgen Klopp puts the Liverpool players through a session a their Melwood training ground in preparation for Sunday’s Merseyside derby.
Photograph: John Powell/Liverpool FC/Getty Images

Jürgen Klopp has said this season’s Premier League champions should have an asterisk attached to their name because the title will go down in history as the most difficult to win.

The Liverpool manager admits he Googled the word “asterisk” when people – aka non-Liverpool fans – questioned the credibility of a title won after a three-month lockdown and behind closed doors. Liverpool are six points from securing their first league championship since 1990 and restart at Everton on Sunday.

Klopp agrees the 2019-20 champions will be remembered differently. But, rather than a question of legitimacy, he believes winning the league during the coronavirus pandemic, with all the problems caused for society and football, will be a unique achievement.

“Usually I do not pay too much attention to what everyone is saying around us,” Klopp said. “Now I have had a lot of time to read and I heard a lot and saw a lot. When that came up I had to google the word ‘asterisk’. I only knew the word from the comic [Asterix] before. This is the most difficult year and season to become champions. It is an interrupted season like has never happened before. Whoever will be champions at the end it will be historical because it is a year that we will never forget because hopefully it is the only year we ever have like this as human beings and a society because I hope we find solutions for this kind of thing in the future.

“It is historic now more than ever. Give us an asterisk. Yes, do it. Because it is the most difficult season ever and the only difference is there is quite a points gap between us and other teams, but if you saw City playing the other night, saw the team they played and saw the bench they had where they changed five times and there was still no Leroy Sané on the pitch, you think: ‘Wow, that is really impressive.’ That is our opponent.

“That is why when they were having discussions about [ending] the season I felt quite tense during the lockdown. Now it is over and we are here. We worked so hard for this and we do not want to get over the line ‘somehow’. We want to play football. Nobody has to tell us we are nearly there. I am not interested in nearly, or in close. I am interested in playing the best football we can play.”

All 90 remaining Premier League games will be shown live, with 31 matches available free to air. Sky will show 25 games on their Freeview platform, Pick (ch11). 

The BBC will show four matches, with Amazon also making their four games available for free on Prime Video. The remaining 59 games will be available to subscribers on Sky Sports and BT Sport

Dates, times and channels

Friday 19 June

Norwich v Southampton 6pm Sky/Pick

Tottenham v Manchester United 8.15pm Sky Sports

Saturday 20 June

Watford v Leicester 12.30pm BT Sport

Brighton v Arsenal 3pm BT

West Ham v Wolves 5.30pm Sky

Bournemouth v C Palace 7.45pm BBC One

Sunday 21 June

Newcastle v Sheffield United 2pm Sky/Pick

Aston Villa v Chelsea 4.15pm Sky

Everton v Liverpool 7pm Sky/Pick

Monday 22 June

Manchester City v Burnley 8pm Sky

Tuesday 23 June

Leicester v Brighton 6pm Sky

Tottenham v West Ham 8.15pm Sky

Wednesday 24 June

Man Utd v Sheffield Utd 6pm Sky/Pick

Newcastle v Aston Villa 6pm BT

Norwich v Everton 6pm BBC Two/One

Wolves v Bournemouth 8.15pm BT

Liverpool v Crystal Palace 8.15pm Sky

Thursday 25 June

Burnley v Watford 6pm Sky/Pick

Southampton v Arsenal  6pm Sky

Chelsea v Manchester City 8.15pm BT

Saturday 27 June

Aston Villa v Wolves 12.30pm BT

Sunday 28 June

Watford v Southampton 4.30pm Sky/Pick

Monday 29 June

Crystal Palace v Burnley 8pm Amazon

Tuesday 30 June

Brighton v Man Utd 8.15pm Sky/Pick

Wednesday 1 July

Bournemouth v Newcastle 6pm Sky/Pick

Arsenal v Norwich 6pm BT

Everton v Leicester 6pm Sky

West Ham v Chelsea 8.15pm Sky

Thursday 2 July

Sheffield United v Tottenham 6pm Sky

Manchester City v Liverpool 8.15pm Sky

Saturday 4 July

Norwich v Brighton 12.30pm BT

Leicester v C Palace 3pm Sky/Pick

Man Utd v Bournemouth 3pm BT

Wolves v Arsenal 5.30pm Sky

Chelsea v Watford 8pm Sky

Sunday 5 July

Burnley v Sheffield United 12pm Sky/Pick

Newcastle v West Ham 2pm Sky

Liverpool v Aston Villa 4.30pm Sky

Southampton v Man City 7pm BBC One

Monday 6 July

Tottenham v Everton 8pm Sky

Tuesday 7 July

Crystal Palace v Chelsea 6pm Sky

Watford v Norwich 6pm Sky/Pick

Arsenal v Leicester 8.15pm Sky

Wednesday 8 July

Man City v Newcastle 6pm BT

Sheffield Utd v Wolves 6pm Sky

West Ham v Burnley 6pm BT

Brighton v Liverpool 8.15pm Sky

Thursday 9 July

Bournemouth v Tottenham 6pm Sky/Pick

Everton v Southampton 6pm Amazon

Aston Villa v Man Utd 8.15pm Sky

Saturday 11 July

Norwich v West Ham 12.30pm BT

Watford v Newcastle 12.30pm Amazon

Liverpool v Burnley 3pm BT Sport

Sheffield Utd v Chelsea 5.30pm Sky

Brighton v Man City 8pm Sky

Sunday 12 July

Wolves v Everton 12pm Sky/Pick

Aston Villa v Crystal Palace 2pm Sky

Tottenham v Arsenal 4.30pm Sky

Bournemouth v Leicester 7pm Sky/Pick

Mon 13 July

Man Utd v Southampton 8pm Sky/Pick

Games in italics are free-to-air; later fixture dates and times TBC

Klopp feared the season would be declared null and void. “I didn’t think when we went to lockdown: ‘Oh my God, that is our season, we are so close,’ because it was not important in that moment. I became worried in the moment when people started talking about null and void this season because I was like ‘wow’. And I really felt it physically.

“That would have been really, really hard. We don’t expect to get it as a present, we didn’t want to have a points-per-game basis, so we were really happy when it was decided we could play again.

Klopp has a fully fit squad – with the exception of Xherdan Shaqiri – when he can become the first Liverpool manager to avoid defeat in their first 11 derbies.

He added: “What people outside make of it, I couldn’t care less. But if it will happen and we do become champions then we can tell people it was really difficult and rightly so, and really special. We cannot do a lot of things that we usually can do but in this specific case at least we can say this is really special. That’s why we enjoy the little asterisk there.”

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