Liverpool’s convincing victory over Manchester City in the Champions League was perhaps beyond Jurgen Klopp’s wildest dreams, but has left him with an interesting dilemma going into Saturday’s Merseyside derby at Everton.
The match comes three days before the second leg of their quarter-final against City, into which they will go with a 3-0 lead and as favourites to reach the last four for the first time since 2008.
Yet with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich widely expected to make up the other semi-finalists after this week’s first legs, Klopp will be aware his team would be the outsiders to win the trophy.
It means that, if his team are to be in the Champions League next season, their best hope would be to finish in the Premier League’s top four.
And despite their healthy league position, that means there is little scope for taking their foot off the pedal when they go to Goodison Park.
Apart from anything else, their supporters would not tolerate it.
Klopp, though, is not best pleased at the timing of the match and feels their good run in Europe could come at a price.
“Being in international competition should not cause you problems,” said the 50-year-old German.
“It should be something good, and not cause you problems.
“We have now a problem to find players for Saturday, and everyone’s telling us it’s the most important game of the year, and that’s quite difficult.
“So I’m not really over the moon at the moment, I’m really angry…