Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool 'have a chance' if Alexander-Arnold and Jota deliver

Reds hope to get back on track in Premier League title race after difficult period

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp following his side's elimination from the Europa League in the quarter-final second leg against Atalanta. Getty Images
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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is hoping the return of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Diogo Jota provides his team a timely boost in their title hunt.

The Reds dropped to third after defeat to Crystal Palace last weekend, with Manchester City moving into a two-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

However, the performance by Alexander-Arnold in the Europa League second leg win over Atalanta has offered hope.

The defender was making his first start since mid-February after a knee injury. And while Jota has yet to have the same impact in three substitute appearances after a similar two-month lay-off, the clinical nature of his game could offset some of the deficiencies in the forward line.

"We need Trent Alexander-Arnold, of course, but we need him in a really good shape and form and that's what he has to get up to," said Klopp ahead of the trip to Fulham on Sunday.

"It's not about him and it's not his fault if he wouldn't be, it's just the situation. So how quick can we get him rolling if you want - the same for Diogo.

"We have to find a way to help the boys in the best way, to bring them as quick as possible into their best form or shape and from there we have to go.

"Without them we wouldn't have a chance. With them we have a chance, with them in a really good football moment the chance gets bigger and bigger."

Meanwhile, Klopp said Liverpool must show hunger to get their season back on track after a bruising period saw them lose their Premier League lead and exit the Europa League.

The Merseysiders ended a three-game winless run in all competitions with a 1-0 victory over Atalanta on Thursday but it was not enough to keep them in the European competition after a 3-0 thrashing in their quarter-final first leg at Anfield.

That result was sandwiched between a 2-2 Premier League draw at Manchester United and a shock 1-0 defeat at home against Palace.

Atalanta v Liverpool ratings

"We have to make sure we become that opponent for each team again (that) they don't want to play against. We made it a bit too easy for three teams in a row and we should change that," Klopp told reporters.

"I'm absolutely positive after a day off and processing the things properly. I'm more than happy with the situation we are in," he added when asked if his side could bounce back after their exit from Europe.

Also, Aston Villa boss Unai Emery is determined to help his players finish the season well and achieve Champions League qualification and Europa Conference League glory.

Villa are currently leading Spurs in the race for the Premier League top four with five games to go, starting with the visit of Bournemouth on Sunday.

They also have Chelsea, Liverpool and Brighton to play and their chances of success are complicated by their run to the last four of the Conference League.

Emery said: "I am very happy with the players we have and I want to give them chances to play.

"In different ways this year, every player has an opportunity to play and I want to get the best of them from now until the end of the season.

"We are going to play a semi-final and the last five matches in the Premier League trying to get a Champions League position, trying to be demanding with our way in the Europa Conference League, playing for a final."

Updated: April 20, 2024, 9:04 AM