Before this weekend’s match against Man City, Jurgen Klopp has told his struggling Liverpool players to give Darwin Nunez the opportunity to score.
On Sunday at Anfield, the Premier League championship rivals will square off for the second time this season, despite Klopp’s admission that they aren’t this time around.
Since their first encounter in the Community Shield opener, which Liverpool won 3-1, Nunez scored, and Haaland experienced a discouraging game in which he had little to no influence, a lot has changed.
Although Nunez has only managed two league goals with Liverpool down in ninth place, Haaland is on pace to shatter a number of Premier League records with 15 goals from eight games and City is staying up with league leaders Arsenal.
Due to Haaland’s excellent debut, Nunez has unintentionally been under the spotlight as comparisons are drawn in front of the matchup in Merseyside.
When questioned about the Uruguayan and his slow start as a Liverpool player, Klopp gave his teammates a bit of a snide remark.
“Let me say it like this, I think Darwin Nunez would have scored a couple more goals if he had played in the centre of Man City this season,” the German said in his pre-match press conference.
“We have to improve our game to bring him more often in these situations.”
Klopp also hopes that Haaland’s success won’t influence his new No. 27.
“I don’t know, but I hope it is not in a process where he compares himself with Erling Haaland,” added the Reds boss.
“Don’t compare, I hope he is not doing that and doesn’t think about that. I don’t see that.
“We are in our situation and we want to sort our situation and that is all we are concerned about.”
Fortunately for Liverpool, Roberto Firmino has performed admirably at the ideal moment and has returned to form this year.
The 31-year-place old’s in the club was questioned once Nunez joined, but Firmino has scored eight goals in 11 games, which is just three less than he achieved in the entire previous season. Firmino’s contract expires in the summer.
Klopp has been pleased with his efforts, and his six Premier League goals presently only placed him behind Haaland and Tottenham striker Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot.
“Bobby is having a great day. I’m very thrilled for him,” the manager of Liverpool continued.
“Even if it’s definitely not the finest moment we’ve ever had, it helps when these lads still understand what the aim is,” said the coach.
“Really, nothing changed for Bobby. When Bobby was healthy, he always participated and played for this squad.