Georginio Wijnaldum has said, it is essential to Liverpool to follow the victory over Manchester City with another three points at Sunderland on Monday to increase pressure on the Premier League, Chelsea.
Liverpool are the closest challengers to Antonio Conte’s side, who moved four points ahead of City with a hard-fought victory at Anfield on New Year’s Eve. Jürgen Klopp’s team, who remain six points behind the leaders, the kick-off to the difficulty of Sunderland, in less than 44 hours after the conclusion of the City game and may be without their captain, Jordan Henderson, as well as the confirmed absentees Philippe Coutinho and Joel Matip. Henderson was withdrawn with a heel injury against Pep Guardiola in the team, even if it is not the same heel that sidelined the midfielder for the continued spells of last season.
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Chelsea does not play until Wednesday is awkward assignment at Tottenham Hotspur and Wijnaldum, who secured Liverpool’s win over City with a movement of the head, believes that Sunderland is an opportunity for the team of Klopp to the pressure of the leaders of the cut the gap to three points.
The Holland international said: “You must always put pressure on an opponent. We just have to win the game. It will put the pressure on them? I don’t know, maybe. Sunderland is a difficult game as they also want to win because of the threat of relegation. Chelsea are flying right now and doing great, but we need to focus on our game and we’ll see if we get closer, but the main thing is to continue to do what we do now, to win our own games and not look at Chelsea because we don’t have control of this performance.
“We need to give 100% and show what we are. We can go further, but we need to show game by game. It is going well now, but we don’t know how this will happen in two months, therefore, we have to ensure we go all the time.”
Klopp has said that it must be “boring” for Chelsea have won 13 league games in succession and find Liverpool still on their coat-tails, and Wijnaldum credited to the manager to instill in his players the belief to beat Guardiola is fully assembled next.
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“It gives us confidence. In my opinion, it doesn’t do much special, just gives us the confidence we need, the confidence in its own quality and that we are a good team,” the midfielder explained. “He spoke to the team meeting and said, ” We have to show our quality and to show them how good you are.’
“I was not there before Klopp came so I can’t give my opinion on the way football has changed, but in my opinion, it is very nice to work under the manager. It gives players a feeling of happiness to play for Liverpool. What he wants is that we have the joy in the things that we do – from training, to games – and this is important for a footballer.”
Wijnaldum has also claimed Quincy Promes, his teammate, would be to succeed at Liverpool should Klopp develop his interest in Spartak Moscow midfielder this month. “I think he knows how big Liverpool is, I knew before I came here,” said the summer recruit from Newcastle United. “I don’t know if everything is true about what they say because I don’t speak with him about it. Of course, I want him to come to Liverpool because I know he is a good player and also a good person who can help the team, but it is something for the manager and for the scouts, not for me.”