Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says that the differing circumstances between the upcoming clash with Burnley and last season’s defeat means he is not looking for revenge.
The Reds lost to Sean Dyche’s men at Anfield last season to start a run of terrible home form. Indeed, the 1-0 defeat to the Clarets ended Liverpool’s 68-match unbeaten run on home turf. However, they would go on to lose five further matches in a row without their fans in attendance.
Skip forward to the new season, though, and the landscape has changed.
Liverpool have Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez back in their ranks. A full capacity crowd will also return to Anfield on Saturday for the first time since before the pandemic.
“Not in the moment sitting here, to be honest. I didn’t even think about it when you told me,” Klopp said (via the Daily Mail) when pressed on last season’s result.
“It was a strange one, we lost it Burnley won it, that’s how football is – well deserved. But it’s obviously nothing to do with the game now. We will try everything to have our first home game in front of our crowd for 520-something days.
“We want to enjoy that. Football is only possible to enjoy when you play in a positive way and you just go for it.”
Klopp added on Burnley’s threats: “There are no guarantees out there, especially against Burnley, because they can make your life really uncomfortable.
“They defend well, really good footballers in the team. Sean is doing a brilliant job there, set them up to be annoying but they can be annoying as well.
“Good set-pieces, a way of playing. So that’s what we prepare for, not for any kind of revenge.”
Klopp on Van Dijk, Liverpool return
Van Dijk’s return to action has been long-awaited. The Netherlands captain suffered a serious knee injury in October and made his Premier League comeback in last Saturday’s win over Norwich.
“I was not impressed in a surprised way,” Klopp said of the centre-back’s impact at Carrow Road.
“He had a four-and-a-half-week pre-season, maybe five. Or maybe if you put in all the other rehab stuff then it was probably the longest pre-season of all time.
“But I saw him obviously in training every day, so he played like he trained before, so I was not surprised.
“But yes, Virgil is a good football player and that’s why I was really happy to have him back.”