Wijnaldum: Why I'm not looking at the league table

Georginio Wijnaldum considers it a folly to be preoccupied by the Premier League table at this stage of the season, with the midfielder focused only on what Liverpool can control.

As 2017 draws to a close with the visit of Leicester City to Anfield on Saturday, the Reds sit fourth in the standings – in touching distance of Manchester United and Chelsea, while above Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

A clearer picture of how the remainder of the campaign could pan out is emerging during this festive run of fixtures, but Wijnaldum is paying no attention to the current positions for a good reason.

“I don’t look at the table because it drives me crazy!” the No.5 explained to Liverpoolfc.com.

“You can’t control the other games. If you keep winning and the other teams are winning games as well, it will stay the same.

“The only thing we have to do is look at our own performance because that’s what we can control. Then we will see how it’s going to be at the end of the season.

“We mustn’t be too concentrated on the table because we can’t control other teams. But it’s always a good thing if you win games and collect a lot of points. That gives confidence to the team.”

Liverpool secured a 3-2 victory against the Foxes when the two teams clashed at the King Power Stadium in September, though the opposition have since changed manager.

Claude Puel took over the reins from Craig Shakespeare two months ago and has overseen a rise to eighth in the Premier League for the 2015-16 champions.

Wijnaldum doesn’t believe that the switch in the dugout has drastically altered the fundamentally adventurous approach of Leicester, however.

“They are a dangerous team anyway, it doesn’t just depend on the manager. They showed already when they changed the manager before that they still had the same playing style,” he said.

“They are really good on the counter-attack; they have fast players up front and technical players. They were always a dangerous team who can win games against the big teams. It will be difficult – like any other game in the Premier League.”

The Reds’ final match of 2016 was a thriller with Manchester City on New Year’s Eve that was settled by one goal from the head of Wijnaldum.

And the Netherlands international acknowledged the added incentive to sign off the year with three points again, noting: “It is a great memory for me.

“Let’s hope we can have another great memory this year and we can go into the New Year with a good result and more confidence than before.”