2019 fifa club world cup

Liverpool keen to add FIFA Club World Cup to their trophy cabinet

Doha, Qatar: If Sadio Mane can't get you, Mohamed Salah definitely will. Or Firmino, or Divock Origi, or Naby Kieta, or Alex Oxlade chamberlain. Or someone, for sure.

That's how Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool play these days.

From goalkeeper Alisson Becker to Virjil Van Dijk to Salah to manager Klopp, Liverpool is packed with exceptional talent and that makes the European champions the most exciting and dangerous of all teams.

The story, in all probability, is going to unfold along similar lines at Khalifa International Stadium on Wednesday as they take on Monterrey of Mexico.

The only aberration for Liverpool, albeit a minor one, is that they seldom play Mexican teams, whom Al Sadd coach Xavi aptly described as warriors, and have not idea of what to expect.

It can't be a big challenge for Klopp's team, who are the overwhelming favourites to win the FIFA Club World Cup trophy, but football being a sport of such glorious uncertainties where anything can happen until the final whistle, Monterrey would believe they have an equal chance.

Klopp too chose to say that they were not the favourites.

"We don’t see ourselves as favourites or whatever, we see ourselves as the challengers. It would be the first time for the club to win the Club World Cup," said the Liverpool manager.

"We know Monterrey's situation, the coach coming back, not losing a game. They have a very specific way of playing, tactically good players. It's interesting.

“They are in a pretty good moment, they are in the lead quite often. They have technically good players, strong players. I was impressed by the things I saw. They are brilliant footballers. We are full of respect for Monterrey and are looking forward to the game,” Klopp said at the pre-match press conference.

What he did not say, and something that is pretty obvious is that Liverpool are in Doha on the back of a 19-match unbeaten run. 

Their last defeat came against Napoli in the Champions League in September, while in the Premier League, they sit comfortably at the top, 10 points ahead of second-placed Leicester.

Klopp confirmed Liverpool have no big injury worries, saying that star midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and Van Dijk were both ready.

"Gini (Wijnaldum) was not as serious as we thought in the first moment, he's here doing rehab and stuff. For tomorrow night he's not injured. Virgil's fine, we had to do different stuff with recovery. All the rest of the squad is fine."  

Senior campaigner James Milner said Liverpool were keen to continue their good form.

"We want to continue our good form. We have been in good form and we want to continue that. If it’s a distraction with a chance to win a trophy, that’s a pretty good distraction to have, said Milner. 

"We just want to keep being successful and winning trophies; you have to be successful to be at this tournament so hopefully, we can go out there and play like we have been and win the two games."

Monterry coach Antonio Mohamed would be happy to have a different opinion on that.

"We have a big ambition to play against Liverpool and we came to compete strongly at this mega-tournament,' said Mohamed.

"Klopp is one of the best managers and Liverpool are maybe the best team in the world right now.

"We have made a huge effort to reach this stage and have come to compete, irrespective of which team or manager we are facing. We came here to play and win the match with our weapons. We didn’t come to participate in this tournament and let Liverpool win against us. Nothing is impossible in football."

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