Jamie Carragher has urged Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp to concentrate his efforts on the Premier League ahead of a busy winter schedule for the club.
The Merseyside giants pushed Manchester City to the final weekend last term but ultimately finished runners-up behind Pep Guardiola’s side despite amassing 97 points across an magnificent campaign.
This season, Liverpool are eight points clear of Leicester at the top of the table after 12 games and have dropped points on just one occasion when they drew 1-1 at Manchester United last month.
The Reds begin a run of 13 matches in 40 days when they return to action at Crystal Palace this weekend and Carragher has sent a clear warning to his former club over their congested fixture list.
‘I know a lot of Liverpool supporters wouldn’t say this, and certainly the club couldn’t, but nothing can get in the way of Liverpool winning the league. Nothing,’ Carragher told the Liverpool Echo.
‘The Aston Villa game in the Carabao Cup? If Liverpool get through they will have two semi-finals to play then and that cannot get in the way of Liverpool winning the league.
‘What I mean by that is do not play anyone in your first XI in that Carabao Cup team. Not one.
‘If Liverpool win the league this year and find themselves in the same position next year I wouldn’t be saying that.
‘I’d probably be saying “we are Liverpool Football Club. We should try and win the lot.” But because it has been so long nothing can be allowed to get in the way of Liverpool pushing on and winning the league.’
Carragher admits he was ‘angry’ with Klopp’s decision to play Lovren in the FA Cup third round last season after the Croatian went on to suffer a hamstring injury in a 2-1 defeat at Wolves.
‘The Club World Cup, for me, is very important,’ he said.
‘A lot of people outside Liverpool don’t understand that. But really it’s massive for Liverpool. They have never won it before. To be able to say you’re the world champions.
‘Liverpool have won the League Cup a record amount of times and will have other chances again. It might be another 20 years before we get the chance to become world champions again.
‘So they have to really go for that. I get that.
‘If you remember last year Jurgen Klopp played a really weakened team at Wolves in the FA Cup, but he played Dejan Lovren. And Lovren pulled his hamstring after five minutes. For me I was angry that Lovren played.
‘Klopp is already a legendary figure at Liverpool Football Club for delivering the European Cup but if he wins the league, you’re talking about Shankly, Paisley levels then.
‘He would be the man who brings the league back to Anfield. Winning the FA Cup or League Cup will not make any difference to Jurgen Klopp, so for me the Napoli game (in the Champions League) Liverpool have to win, so they can almost write off the last group game.
‘They can’t say these things, but inside at Melwood I’m sure these conversations are taking place.’
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