Midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum believes Liverpool will have to make sure they are switched on as they return to domestic action after their midweek Champions League high in Germany.
The 3-1 win over Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena was rightly hailed as an impressive performance but with the quest to end a 29-year wait for the Premier League title still ongoing, there is no time to bask in the glow of making another European quarter-final, where they face Porto.
In fact, Wijnaldum believes Sunday’s opponents Fulham, second-bottom of the table, may present an even more difficult proposition than five-time European champions Bayern.
— Gini Wijnaldum (@GWijnaldum) March 15, 2019
Jurgen Klopp’s side capitalised from their Bundesliga opponents, behind on away goals, having to chase a second with the score at 1-1 and leaving gaps to exploit.
The struggling Cottagers are unlikely to offer the same amount of space.
“I think it will be even harder at Fulham,” said Wijnaldum.
“They are struggling, fighting to survive and that is always difficult to play against, those teams.
“Fulham will make it as difficult as possible and we have to be focused.”
Liverpool go into the game boosted by their impressive display in Germany and no one is flying higher than forward Sadio Mane.
The Senegal international scored twice in Bavaria to take his tally to 10 goals in as many games.
His form has taken some of the pressure off Mohamed Salah, who is enduring his longest goalscoring drought – six matches – since arriving at the club in the summer of 2017.
But despite scoring just three over the same period Klopp is satisfied with the Egypt international’s performances and believes he has just been unlucky in front of goal.
“It is good that we split the goals, absolutely. We have 73 points: each goal we scored brought us there and from time to time it is clicking for one (player),” said the Reds boss.
“There was a very good moment in the Bayern game to explain the situation of Mo a little bit – because I think he is in an outstanding shape – when Niklas Sule in the last second came because that was a goal.
“For Sadio it is different, thank God. All the goals the boys score us are so important. Who scores is not too important but of course it helps if the boys are confident and know what they do.
“The first goal that Sadio scored in Munich, if he had not scored for five or six games he probably would not have scored but it was completely natural.
“At the end everyone criticised (Bayern goalkeeper Manuel) Neuer but it was just world-class from Sadio.
“He’s in a good moment and hopefully it stays like this, that’s the most important thing for us.
“The goals we have scored are important but not as important as the goals we will score until the end of the season.”