Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes that his team are playing at an “absolutely top” level and should not be affected by any final-day drama.
The Reds need to beat Crystal Palace on Sunday to make sure of their place in the top four after an upturn in form. Indeed, third-placed Chelsea and fifth-placed Leicester remain in the hunt. Barring a dramatic Foxes victory, though, they will most likely lose out and the Blues will join Liverpool in the top four if all teams win.
Klopp’s men have experience of sealing their fate at the end of the season since the German took charge.
They achieved a place in the top four on the final day of the 2016/17 season, beating Middlesbrough. What’s more, they have been involved in Champions League and Europa League finals.
Nevertheless, Klopp insists that he has “too much respect” for Palace and will treat the clash as another final.
When told at his pre-match press conference that his side have claimed 23 points from a possible 27 in their resurgent run-in, he said: “All the numbers you mention now, they have nothing to do with Sunday because these kind of games, when three games are that important, pretty much everything can happen.
“I think it makes sense to know about that before you start the game, even though no-one should expect the perfect game.
“We have to fight for it, I respect Crystal Palace too much. They want to give Roy [Hodgson] in his last game as manager absolutely everything and rightly so.”
Stephen Warnock predicts Liverpool to finish in top four
Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock believes the club will finish in the top four this season to qualify for next season's Champions League.
Goal difference could indeed prove a telling factor in Sunday’s finale. Liverpool are only in the top four on that metric but have a four-goal advantage over the Foxes.
Still, Klopp pondered the potential scenarios that could unfold, including Leicester hammering Tottenham amid a stalemate at Anfield.
Klopp teases final-day Liverpool drama
“Because of the situation we are in, I don’t think we should pay too much attention [to Leicester and Chelsea],” he added (via the Liverpool Echo).
“If nothing really strange happens and Leicester is five or 6-0 up and it’s still 0-0 here, I don’t think we should have a look there.
“We have it in our own hands anyway, we will not be involved in that until something really strange happens.
“I’m pretty sure somebody will tell me, ‘Ok, this result at the moment is not enough, so we should go to the next gear’ – if that’s possible, because in my mind because we play an absolutely top game.”
Liverpool won the reverse fixture against Palace 7-0 in December, shortly before their results and league positions spiralled.