(Reuters) - Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 61 home Premier League matches but manager Juergen Klopp is aware of the challenge posed by Sheffield United on Saturday.
Premier League champions Liverpool are closing in on a club record of 63 home league wins, set between 1978-81. The last time they were beaten at Anfield in the league was when they lost 2-1 to Crystal Palace in April 2017.
Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United were last season’s surprise package after they finished ninth on their return to the top-flight but are winless and 19th after five games of the new season.
“Sheffield United ... deserve a lot of attention for what they do because it is really good,” Klopp told a news conference on Friday.
“Even when the results are not so far like they wished for the performances, they have not been bad and I’m sure Chris Wilder knows that.
“For us that makes it tricky and they had full week to prepare for this game.”
With injuries to several first-team players and a lack of goalscoring options, Sheffield United started with four straight defeats but showed significant improvement in last Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Fulham.
In the absence of the injured Virgil van Dijk, Brazilian midfielder Fabinho moved to central defence and delivered an assured display as Liverpool beat Ajax Amsterdam 1-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Klopp, however, said his new-look defensive line still needs time to settle, with Van Dijk set for an extended spell on the sidelines.
“We don’t want to know how long he’ll (Van Dijk) be out for. It will take time that is clear,” Klopp said. “We all know Fab can play this position, he did it against Bayern (Munich) last year in a home game, for example, and he played great.
“But this line had not played together before the Ajax game. You can’t talk about it or exchange notes, it is about feeling what is right. It will take time for these boys to get used to each other.”
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis
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