Jurgen Klopp has boldly claimed that Liverpool are as good as soon to be Premier League champions Chelsea.
We beat the Blues at Stamford Bridge and drew with them at Anfield, but are battling for fourth spot while Antonio Conte’s impressive outfit are waltzing to the title.
If Chelsea beat West Brom at 8pm, they will have confirmed their fifth title of the Premier League era.
In fairness, when our full XI is on the pitch, we’ve proven time and time again that we’re as good as anybody in the country… That’s when Dejan Lovren can partner Joel Matip at the back, Jordan Henderson can anchor the midfield with Adam Lallana and one other on either side of him – with Sadio Mane, Coutinho and Roberto Firmino up top.
While Chelsea have consistently deployed their strongest side though, Klopp’s not been able to select a completely first-choice XI once in 2017 – with Mane, Coutinho, Lallana, Henderson, Matip and Lovren all enduring spells on the sidelines.
“You have to look at the games we played against Chelsea,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
“We were not worse than 14 points that is for sure but they are experienced, cold as ice and they get the points. They play very serious and finish when they have to finish.
“We all know the gap is not that big but the gap was big enough.
“Chelsea deserved the title but I’ve said already they had most luck with injuries. Diego Costa? Did he miss one game? Eden Hazard one game? Pedro could play, Willian could play, their defensive line could play.
“You need this luck and then you go through. I don’t say we could have gone through but the gap could have been closer.
“It’s not just about Chelsea. You saw how we played against Tottenham. But we will all have a different season next year.”
Chelsea’s injury luck has much to do with their sensible style of play though and the smaller distance they cover every week.
With Klopp’s energetic style, we need a bigger squad, with replacements capable of coming in and doing a job.