Dubai: Liverpool travel to Molineux on Thursday evening to face Wolverhampton Wanderers as they look to extend their unbeaten season and continue their march to a first Premier League title.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are hunting their 14th consecutive Premier League victory and are out to increase their unbeaten streak to 40 in the league, going all the way back to last season.
The Reds are 13 points clear of second-placed Manchester City having played two games less are could be only 10 games away from clinching their first top-flight title in 30 years.
Klopp, as ever, is only focused on the immediate task and he is aware that Wolves at home is a stiff challenge, no matter what form you are in.
“Wolves are really difficult to play, they play a similar system to other teams defensively,” he said. “They make pitch really big.”
Klopp also insisted his side have room to get even better.
“We need to work on our concentration levels,” he said. “Five minutes before half-time and at the end, Manchester United came back against us in the last game and the game should have been decided already.
“There is a lot of space for improvement. How can we help ourselves? We need to find a common way in situations to dominate the game in a slightly different manner. What we learnt from last season (missing out on the title by one point) is we are a good football team. It’s about using your skills, attitude, character in all the games.”
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk is also urging caution against Wolves.
“We already know how good Wolves are,” he said. “The tactics they have, the players they have and the manager is fantastic.
“What we try to do is to prepare very well and we already know it’s going to be a very tough game. It makes it easier to prepare when you know it’s going to be tough, when you know there are going to be difficult moments.”
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo added: “What we will do is prepare ourselves well and play the game.
“Our fans will be behind us. It will be a fantastic atmosphere. We have to compete — the word is compete. Every ball is important.”
Meanwhile, Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte admits he has returned from his serious knee injury earlier than he expected.
The Frenchman was a surprise inclusion in Pep Guardiola’s starting line-up against Sheffield United on Tuesday, having not been involved with the first team for almost five months.
He required surgery after suffering a knee injury during City’s home win against Brighton on August 31.
Laporte’s comeback in the 1-0 win for City at Bramall Lane lasted 78 minutes and he is now looking forward to the rest of the season.
“Normally it would have been later but I spoke with the manager and he told me I would play so I am very happy to be back as soon as possible and have minutes and help the team,” said Laporte.
“It was very important for me to try to be with the team, to be involved. It was a good test of fitness. The game was difficult because they are very strong, a good team.”
“It was difficult for me (being out), my teammates see me suffering,” he added. “But now I can help the team out and give my best.”
City have had problems at the back in Laporte’s absence and his return helped City record their first clean sheet in any competition since December 29.
After the match, Guardiola admitted his team had missed the 25-year-old and described him as the best left-sided central defender in the world.
Laporte said: “It’s great to hear that from this manager as he is one of the best in the world, if not the best. I am very happy to hear that but I have to work to stay there and keep going.”
— With agencies