Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool’s achievements this season should be considered even more special by the quality of the Manchester City side they are taking on.
The Reds head into Wednesday’s game at home to Crystal Palace knowing that a victory will put them on the brink of a first league title in 30 years.
Klopp’s team sit 20 points clear of City, champions in each of the last two seasons, and could even be crowned as early as Thursday night, should they beat Palace and Pep Guardiola's side fail to win away at Chelsea.
At his virtual pre-match press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Klopp paid tribute to City, and said his own team’s excellence should be measured against the standard of opponent they are facing.
“No,” he said when asked if he had considered the prospect of City catching his team.
“It’s not about them catching us or whatever.
“The only thing I realised when I watched the game last night [City beat Burnley 5-0 at the Etihad] is ‘how is it possible that anybody is 20 points ahead of this team?!’
“That’s pretty much unthinkable, actually, so we must have done a couple of things pretty well and right!
“I don’t think about City catching us, I think about Crystal Palace. If you want to now make a headline about ‘City can’t catch us’ then that’s completely b*llocks because it’s not what I said. What I mean is, I am only concerned with what we are doing.
“I watch them [City] only because we play them in nine days, not because I hope they will lose. It was never like this; maybe when they played Leicester last year, but that didn’t work very well so I stopped doing it!
“I respect them a lot, they look like they will win all their remaining games because they look really strong, but they are always strong. And we are not so bad, so let’s think about that.”
Mohamed Salah is in line to start for Liverpool against Palace, having been an unused substitute in the goalless draw at Everton on Sunday.
Andy Robertson, who sat out the game entirely, is also expected to return.
Klopp said: “Mo trained completely normal yesterday, and will train today completely normal. So he’s available. You have to wait to see what I make with my line-up.
“It’s the same with Robbo. He trained yesterday as well. The two guys, Milly and Joel, will not be available for tomorrow. We have to figure out exactly how long it will take.”
Palace were the last team to inflict a league defeat on Liverpool at Anfield, winning 2-1 back in April 2017.
“I can’t remember how that felt,” Klopp said, “but I know how defeats feel – not good!
“We didn’t think at the time that this would be the start of a long period where we will not lose, but it’s a long time ago.
“Tomorrow night is a game against a very good side. Roy [Hodgson] is doing an incredible job there, the organisation of the team is really, really of the highest level, they are physically strong, good individuals, four games in a row without conceding a goal.
“It is all very positive from their point of view, but we have our own aims and we want to go with all that we have. We want to make a special game for us.”