Joel Matip has called on Liverpool to harness ‘the power of Anfield’ as they strive to secure Champions League qualification in the closing weeks of the season.
Three of the Reds’ final five games of the Premier League campaign are on home soil, with the first of those fixtures coming against Crystal Palace this afternoon.
Matip is looking forward to returning to L4 after back-to-back away wins over Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion, with the centre-back explaining just how crucial the home fans’ backing can be.
“Playing at Anfield, we have the supporters around us, giving us help and strength, and we’ll do our best to use this, to use the power of Anfield,” the centre-back told Liverpoolfc.com.
“They [the fans] push you, in every game, every pass, every set-piece. You see them surrounding you, you hear them. They give you that extra ‘plus’ that can maybe decide a game.”
Jürgen Klopp has praised his team for the manner of their victories over Stoke and West Brom, with the boss labelling last week’s hard-fought 1-0 triumph at The Hawthorns ‘adult football’ during his pre-Palace press conference on Thursday.
Liverpool remain the Premier League’s highest goalscorers this season and have showcased a brand of free-flowing, devastating attacking football regularly throughout the campaign.
But, much like his manager, Matip is hugely satisfied to have picked up maximum points from the recent trips to the Midlands thanks, in the main, to displays of battling resilience.
“Of course, it’s also good [to win in that way]. At first, we want to win and it doesn’t matter which way,” the No.32 said.
“Of course, I would prefer to win maybe 5-0 and everybody would love it, but I have no problem to win like this. Everybody was fighting, everybody was giving everything for every ball and that’s also a way of winning games. It shows that we can win like this.”
LFCTV GO: Matip discusses Palace and the Reds' resilience
A run of seven games without defeat, including five victories, has consolidated the Reds’ place in the division’s top four - a position Matip is confident they can hold on to.
“I think we have the quality, now we only want to continue like we’ve played,” he added.
“The main point is winning - it doesn’t matter how, maybe with a fighting game, maybe we will play a little bit more. But it doesn’t matter, we will do our best to win going forward and I’m still positive that we will stay where we are.”
This season’s reverse fixture with Palace ended in a 4-2 win for Liverpool and included Matip’s first - and to date, only - goal for the club.
Unsurprisingly, the 25-year-old has fond memories of that visit to Selhurst Park and while he is aware of the threat the likes of Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha will pose today, he sees no reason why the Reds cannot complete the league double over the Eagles.
“That was my first and only goal in this moment! But I hope that I will score a few more and I’ll try to score again on Sunday if I can play,” Matip said.
“Of course, they’re [Palace] in good shape, but we’re also in a good way. We’re self-confident enough to look forward and say we can win this game.”