Klopp: 'Next three Premier League fixtures defining for Liverpool'

Klopp: 'Next three Premier League fixtures defining for Liverpool'

Jurgen Klopp has claimed that Liverpool's next three fixtures will go a long way to deciding their league position at the end of the season, as the German eyes Champions League qualification for the Reds.

Klopp believes their next three matches could have a significant bearing on whether they stand a chance of finishing in the top four.

The German takes his side to Premier League leaders Leicester on Tuesday before facing struggling duo Sunderland and Aston Villa.

They are eight points off fourth place currently and Klopp is not ruling out Champions League qualification but believes the coming fortnight will give him a better idea.

"I don't think we should think too much about it," he said.

"We have an away game at Leicester and these three games will give a little sign as to where we can go in this season.

"Even after these games it is not over. I think we have showed a row of more than okay performances so you can say we have a little bit more consistency even when we have made a lot of changes.

"That is what we have to bring on the pitch all the time now that we can fight for the right results.

"Top four should always be a target so it is a target but at the end only our performances will have an influence on this situation and that is what we should be concentrating on."

The Reds boss also delivered a positive injury update for the clubs’ fans as four senior players are closing in on full fitness.

"[Martin Skrtel and Philippe Coutinho] are close to returning to training," Klopp revealed, while also confirming that Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi are likely to return to full training this week.

However, none of the quartet will be available for Liverpool’s trip to Leicester on Tuesday evening, though Klopp will field his strongest team against the league leaders.

"I can easily praise Leicester because it's great what they're doing but now we play against them and we are not supporters!

"We rested a lot of players on Saturday so we will be ready for this game.

"I like the character of the boys because I never heard a word about having no time off. They are all real professionals."

Club captain Jordan Henderson will return to the squad having sat out the scoreless FA Cup draw against West Ham, while Joe Allen (who captained the side in the fourth round tie) came in for praise from his manager: "I like his style, he's important for us. He is in really good shape."