A 2-1 defeat at home to Crystal Palace later and suddenly Reds fans seem to be in full panic mode heading into the final few weeks of the season.
Champions League football was never a certainty following wins against Stoke and West Brom, nor is it out of the picture following the loss to Sam Allardyce’s side. The pressure from the likes of Manchester United and even Arsenal promises to test just how brave this team can be and whether or not they truly deserve a place in the top four.
Last weekend saw Klopp desperately short on options from the bench but he is now set to be confronted by undoubtedly welcomed selection dilemmas ahead of Monday night’s game away at Watford.
Adam Lallana’s return to full training on Friday and potential availability for the clash at Vicarage Road is sure to lift not only Klopp’s spirits but that of the entire team. There appears to be plenty of time for the midfielder to get himself ready to slot straight back into Liverpool’s starting lineup. Given the fact it is away from home, there is a chance that Lallana, if he does start, would come in for Divock Origi, who struggled against Palace, in a free role in and around Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho.
This would see Klopp keep his faith in the defensive qualities Lucas Leiva has to offer as well as re-injecting the urgency, energy and all-action style Lallana provides. Aside from his technical brilliance, he poses as one of the leaders in this squad and will be crucial to inspiring this team to perform under pressure between now and the end of the season. It is a decisive stage of the campaign for Liverpool now and it seems unlikely that Klopp would resist the temptation to start one of his best players despite him having only just returned to health.
Only injury over the next two days threatens to disrupt or alter Liverpool’s back four. Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip found themselves on the losing team whilst playing together for the first time last week but remain Klopp’s clear first choice centre-back pairing and will almost certainly start. Once again, Nathaniel Clyne and James Milner will occupy the two full-back positions and could well be key against a Watford side capable of causing problems with their width.
It will be well worth keeping one eye on Liverpool’s options from the sidelines, with Daniel Sturridge once again pushing for an appearance following his return to fitness. He may not have too many games left in a Liverpool shirt and will be desperate to get himself back on the score-sheet.
Lallana’s return will be a significant boost as Klopp looks to reestablish the interchanging and movement that granted Liverpool such an emphatic start to the Premier League campaign.