Jurgen Klopp makes ‘obvious’ Newcastle United and Man United claim - potential mind games

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Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool can’t afford to drop points at Leicester City tonight as the race for Champions League qualification hots up.

Jurgen Klopp says Newcastle United would be “happy” if Liverpool weren’t sitting fifth in the Premier League table - but believes Eddie Howe’s side are “more likely” to seal Champions League qualification in what some may view as mind games from the German.

The Magpies remain third in the Premier League table, level on points with Manchester United (66), following Saturday’s frustrating 2-2 draw at relegation candidates Leeds. United sit four points ahead of Liverpool but the gap could be reduced to one this evening if Klopp’s men beat Leicester City (kick-off 8pm).

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Assuming Liverpool win all their remaining fixtures, which includes playing Aston Villa at Anfield and Southampton away, Newcastle require six points from Brighton and Hove Albion and Leicester - who they both host at St James’ Park - or Chelsea on the final day of the campaign.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. (Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. (Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. (Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images) | Liverpool FC via Getty Images

“A few weeks ago, it was completely out of sight,” Klopp said on the Premier League top four battle. “I couldn’t see it at all, but that did not mean we would not try to get closer. That’s the only thing we did - we got closer.

“I am pretty sure we were in a situation like that years ago in the second season we qualified for the Champions League. Chelsea were winning all the time behind us so we had to win all the games. It’s not comfortable but, in the end, we made it anyway.”

Liverpool are currently on a six-game winning streak but if they slip up at the King Power Stadium, a victory for Newcastle against Brighton on Thursday will likely be enough to end their 20-year Champions League atmosphere due to their superior goal difference.

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Klopp continued: “Newcastle and [Manchester] United would be happy if we would not be there anymore and Brighton just starts losing now and Tottenham, and that it was safe and they could concentrate on other stuff.

“But it is still more likely that they will do it. I respect that. If they finish the season above us, they deserve it. That’s how I see it.”

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