Whatever happens against Wolves on Sunday afternoon, one thing is for sure: at around 6 o’clock, Anfield will rise to salute its heroes.
And Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool players are guaranteed one hell of a reception.
They will deserve it, too. They probably won’t end up winning the Premier League – though don’t rule out a final-day twist or two – but what a ride the Reds have taken their supporters on this season regardless.
- Kwame Peprah: What does the future hold?
- Rice explains what he wants to improve despite superb West Ham form - ‘I should be hitting 10 goals a season’
- Former Kaizer Chiefs forward Permall believes Amakhosi striking options not good enough
- Orlando Pirates transfers: Ins and outs ahead of the 2022-23 season
They might just be the best team this club has ever seen.
For some, Sunday will be bittersweet, a farewell as well as a celebration. Plenty of Klopp’s men will head into the summer with uncertainty surrounding their future.
How many, one wonders, could be playing at Anfield for the last time this weekend?
Here, GOAL takes a look…
There won’t be a dry eye in the house when the Belgian says his goodbyes.
The term ‘cult hero’ could have been invented for Origi, whose love of the big occasion, and whose penchant for dramatic late goals, makes him, in Klopp’s eyes, “a Liverpool legend forever [and] one of the most important players I ever had.”
Klopp confirmed on Friday that the 27-year-old is leaving the club this summer, with AC Milan almost certain to sign him on a free transfer.
“I expect him to get a special farewell,” the Reds boss added. “It was a pure joy to work with him. He deserves all the good thoughts we can generate for his future, and wherever he will go he will be successful.
“Outstanding player, outstanding boy. Everybody in the team loves him. It will be a harsh moment when he leaves.”
The other senior Liverpool player whose contract expires this summer is Milner, though GOAL understands negotiations over a possible one-year extension are ongoing.
Even at 36, the vice-captain has shown this season that he is more than capable of playing at the top level.
He has made 38 appearances in all competitions – the most he has managed in a single campaign since 2018-19 – and his influence on the Reds’ dressing room and training ground culture makes him a vital and necessary presence going forward, as far as Klopp is concerned.
Milner has no plans to retire any time soon, and will not be short of offers this summer. His preference, however, is to stay at Anfield.
If not, he will look to end his seven-year stint on a glorious high, and will go down as surely the best free transfer in Reds history.
As the season has reached its thrilling crescendo, opportunities have dried up for a player who once looked as if he would become a key part of Klopp’s Liverpool.
Oxlade-Chamberlain hasn’t featured since the win over Nottingham Forest on March 20, and hasn’t appeared in the Premier League since the middle of February.
He hasn’t even made the bench in recent weeks – most notably at Wembley earlier this month – and was an unused substitute at Southampton, on a night when Klopp made nine changes to his team and was without a host of first-team regulars.
At 28, the former Arsenal man has a decision to make this summer.
He is entering the final 12 months of his contract, and with the likes of Luis Diaz and Fabio Carvalho on board, surely knows opportunities are likely to be further limited next season.
It is unlikely, to say the least, that Liverpool will look to offer an extension. The smart money is on a transfer, with West Ham and Newcastle among those linked.
Another player about to enter the final year of their current deal is Keita, although the Guinea has shown this season that he can be a big player for the Reds, providing he can stay injury-free.
Klopp is certainly a fan of the 27-year-old, though as of yet there has been no sign of a contract extension being offered.
With only 71 starts across four seasons, Keita still has a bit to prove if he is to earn himself a new deal, even if his talent is obvious.
Probably the biggest question at Anfield right now surrounds Salah’s future: stay or go?
We know what the Egyptian wants, and we know what Klopp wants. But still there has been an absence of progress in negotiations, and when players get to the final 12 months of their contract, it usually points to a parting of the ways.
Most of Europe’s top clubs are on alert.
Salah has given encouragement to the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona in the past, while Paris Saint-Germain would almost certainly be keen if, as expected, Kylian Mbappe departs.
Klopp, though, has cut a relaxed figure when asked about his star man’s situation.
Salah is likely to return to the squad this weekend after a groin strain, and all eyes will be on the 29-year-old after the game. His response to the Anfield crowd may offer a clue or two as to his summer plans.
Less discussed than Salah, but arguably just as important, is the future of Mane, who has arguably been Liverpool’s star man during the latter months of the season.
Talks are planned between club and player’s at the end of the season.
Given everything he has achieved since moving to Merseyside in 2016, it would be a surprise, to say the least, if Liverpool were to let the Senegal star leave without a fight.
The third member of Klopp’s famous front three is also approaching the last year of his contract, and like Mane and Salah, there has yet to be any real progress over a new one.
Sources, however, have told GOAL there is no chance of Firmino leaving this summer, despite reports of interest from Bayern Munich.
More likely is that the 30-year-old will be allowed to run down his deal, meaning fans will have another year to enjoy their brilliant, permanently-smiling No.9.
As the top scorer in both the Carabao Cup and FA Cup, and with 10 goals in all competitions this season, Minamino has more than played his part in Liverpool’s success.
“A Ferrari in the garage,” was how Klopp described the Japanese star after the win against Southampton earlier this week, and the manager knows it will be hard to keep a player of such quality around, knowing that first-team chances are likely to be scarce and that clubs are almost certainly going to test the Reds’ resolve this summer.
Leeds and Monaco looked at Minamino in January, and Inter are also understood to be admirers.
Few would blame the former Salzburg man if he were to look to move on, but he’d be missed if he did.