Liverpool v Newcastle United: Klopp keeps pushing for improvement


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp recognises his team still have room for improvement as they prepare to host Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday.

The German has overseen a marked upturn in form in the past couple of months as Liverpool have climbed into top-six contention, losing just one of their last nine top-flight matches.

Their previous three home games in all competitions have yielded 12 goals, with Merseyside rivals Everton thrashed 4-0 on Wednesday.

Yet Klopp feels there is more to come from his side, who are also through to the semi-finals of the Europa League.

"We are not only a pressing and counter-pressing team, we are a possession team too and it's a challenge to bring it all together. We will still work on it, it is not finished," he said.

"With the consistency now, we have been together longer, we have worked together. Now we are here with 54 points, that's not too bad with still 15 to get.

"Consistency comes with working together. I know in football the last thing everybody wants to do is wait for something, but it's the only way I know."

Klopp will have to make do without the services of Divock Origi (ankle), Martin Skrtel (groin), Emre Can (ankle), Jordan Henderson (knee), Christian Benteke (knee), Danny Ings (knee) and Joe Gomez (knee) due to injury.

Newcastle, meanwhile, will be hoping to build on their recent win over Swansea City and draw with Manchester City when they travel to a particularly unhappy hunting ground.

Not since the maiden Premier League season have Newcastle returned from Anfield with a win, a run of 20 league matches without success.

Rafael Benitez's men are firmly entrenched in a relegation battle, trailling 17th-placed Norwich City by two points with four games remaining.

Vurnon Anita was impressed with the displays in the last two matches and wants more of the same.

"It's an away game and we need to show we can do it away as well, with the same intensity and the fighting spirit," the Dutchman told nufcTV. 

"We just need to keep on going. We're not there yet, we know that. We need to take it step by step, game by game, and work hard like the last two games and it will come for us.

"We know that in the position we're in, we need to fight and we need to do it together and I think we showed it against City on Tuesday.

"I think it was a good team performance and we need to keep on going. The most important thing is to recover again and go for the game on Saturday."

Newcastle are still without injured goalkeepers Tim Krul and Rob Elliott (both knee), while Massadio Haidara (knee), Daryl Janmaat (groin) and Steven Taylor (muscular problem) are all unlikely to feature, too.


Key Opta Stats:

- Daniel Sturridge has netted six goals in six Premier League starts against Newcastle United.
- Newcastle have won just three of their last 30 Premier League away matches, losing the last nine in a row.
- James Milner has recorded 11 assists in 2016 in all competitions, three more than any other Premier League player.
- Newcastle have seen six players sent off in their last seven Premier League games against Liverpool and four in the last three trips to Anfield.
- Liverpool have won 17 and lost none of their last 20 Premier League matches against Newcastle at Anfield.