Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool are prepared to fight for their Champions League crown ahead of a crucial week in their remarkable season.
Following the winter break enjoyed by their senior stars, the Reds resume Premier League action at bottom of the table Norwich City on Saturday.
But even if the Canaries were able to spring a huge surprise then it would be a massive shock if Klopp’s side were to loosen their grip on what will be a first top-flight title in 30 years.
Liverpool’s 22-point lead over Manchester City has led to many people shifting their attentions to the Champions League, which resumes on Tuesday when Klopp takes his side to very same venue where they lifted the trophy last season.
Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano will bring back many happy memories for the German, but there will be no time for reminiscing in the Spanish capital, not with a double – and potential treble – to win.
“That (defending the Champions League) is still to prove,” said Klopp on Friday.
“I have no clue if we can win the competition, but we should be ready to go for it.
“Just to fight for it. That is how it is.
“Then it is about luck in certain moments to win anything and that is what we will need for sure.”
To win it again, and indeed to reach a third straight final, will be a tough ask for the Reds though, and Klopp is well aware of the tests that his team could face.
“There are so many strong teams out there,” he said.
“I said it before Juventus was my favourite before the season, obviously I don’t watch Italian football enough but if Juventus are not ten points ahead then you can see there are some problems.
“PSG – when they are all fit… it is just a bomb! That is just a really strong team.
“Bayern getting more and more in again, Barcelona you can never discount, Real Madrid , Manchester City , lets not forget, because the Champions League will be one of their big targets.
“We have no clue how far we can go and the only real problem at this moment is Atletico.”
Despite all those names though, Liverpool’s remarkable form in the last 18 months has led many to make them favourites for the crown, but Klopp isn’t getting carried away.
“I really have no idea if we are the strongest team left in the competition,” he added.
“What I know and we showed last year is that we can beat the best.
“It doesn’t mean we will, it just means we can. And that is the only thing I have to know.
“Last year Man City was the best team in the world and we won later the Champions League, so now people are not happy with some things [at City] and we are it.
“But there is always another team which is at the moment the best in the world.
“Quality will not be the big difference – it is who finds the right mood, the right desire all that stuff can win the decisive challenges and we will see who that can be.”