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Having quick-stepped elegantly around that elephant trap, Gerrard did go on to praise the Champions League finalists and title-chasers, whose draw with Spurs on Saturday night has left them three points behind Manchester City with three games each left and needing to win by four goals to go level on points and goal difference and regain top spot on goals scored.

“I think to watch they are probably the best [Liverpool team he has seen], because of the speed, the intensity and the mentality of this current group,” Gerrard said. “I’m well aware that they have had world-class players, managers and teams previously, but I think to watch – on the eye, because of the way the game has changed, it has gone quicker and faster – I think you’re probably watching the best Liverpool team there’s been.”

At his press conference, Jürgen Klopp was asked if he had told his players the title race was over, as per some reports. “I’m not sure I said that because I think it’s obvious. It’s clear it is not over, whatever happened,” Klopp said. 

“We have three games to play and my concern is how we can win our three games and I have no say in how City can win theirs. We don’t stop believing, that’s what we do.

“As human beings it’s really cool that we can decide for ourselves how we see it. There are facts but we are allowed to ignore them. I try to help the boys see [the situation] like me.”

As for the groin strain front, Villa’s absentees are Jacob Ramsey (groin), Kortney Hause (abdominal strain) and Leon Bailey (ankle). Bobby Firmino is back “on the grass” and available for Liverpool as is the rest of the first-team squad but with Saturday’s FA Cup final looming, Klopp may well rest his full-backs, his captain and, it has been hazarded, Sadio Mané.

Kick-off in B6 , where this fixture, let us not forget, ended with the then champions beaten 7-2 last season (and that was before Virgil van Dijk’s injury) is at 8pm; join us for the team news from 7pm. 

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