I don’t think about Liverpool not playing UCL

Liverpool midfielder Fabinho has told ESPN Brasil that his side can still finish in the top four of the Premier League and said it is unthinkable for the club not to play Champions League football.

Liverpool go into Saturday’s home game against Nottingham Forest eighth in the table and nine points adrift of Newcastle United, who are in fourth place with eight games remaining.

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“That [qualifying for the Champions League] has to be our goal,” Fabinho said. “We are hopeful that it is possible.

“Of course, it’s difficult. The teams that are above us are achieving good results; that is the case of Aston Villa, who are on the rise. Newcastle is also doing well. They lost their last game [at Aston Villa], but they have done well. It will be difficult, but at this moment we have to look at ourselves.”

Fabinho said Monday’s 6-1 win at Leeds United was a big boost of confidence for Liverpool.

“It was great to win away from home, which unfortunately has been one of our biggest problems this season,” he added. “It was good to have won that game against Leeds United the way we did. It’s always good to score a lot of goals, especially for our strikers, it gives them even more confidence.”

For Liverpool to have a chance to finish in the top four, Fabinho said winning all five of their remaining home games is essential.

“We have to take it one game at a time,” Fabinho said. “Next is Nottingham Forest and then we will play at home and, at home, we have to win every game until the end. I think that if we want to be in the top four, we have to win every game. But of course, winning against Nottingham is very important, thinking game by game and believing until the end.”

Liverpool have competed in Europe’s premier competition for six consecutive seasons and not playing in the Champions League next term is not something Fabinho is contemplating.

“The Champions League has been a very special competition for us,” he said. “Since [Liverpool and Brazil goalkeeper] Alisson and I came here [in 2018], we’ve played every year, we’ve reached two finals, we’ve won one. It’s a special competition for us, for the fans.

“The atmosphere at Anfield on a Champions League night is different, and I believe that the big clubs and the big players have to be playing in this competition all the time. As hard as it is, I don’t think about Liverpool not playing in the Champions League. It will be a different reality, but as long as there is hope, we will try and do our best.”

Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp told his Friday news conference that Roberto Firmino has been ruled out after picking up a muscle injury and Klopp said the Brazilian forward could be out for up to three games.

He also added that Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s new role is “not written in stone” and it is a challenge for the squad to adapt to his new position after he has impressed against Arsenal and Leeds.

“In each position he played, Trent is a super important player for us. This advanced role suits him really well,” Klopp told reporters ahead of Saturday’s home Premier League clash with Forest.

“It’s a challenge for everyone else to cover the spaces but with him there we don’t lose many balls. It’s not written in stone, he can play different ways.

“It’s not the first time we played like that… Trent’s a smart player, it’s more about how we set up.”

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