Soccer

Xherdan Shaqiri backs up Jurgen Klopp’s point with ‘easier’ Anfield claim

Liverpool midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri has claimed the absence of supporters has made it easier for the ‘smaller clubs’ to pick up results at Anfield.

The champions are in the midst of a wretched run of form, having lost six successive home games in the process.

Recent results have left Liverpool’s hopes of a top-four finish hanging in the balance, eight points off the final Champions League spot.

It’s now been more than a year since stadiums have been full, with clubs still adjusting to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

And Shaqiri believes an empty Anfield has given opponents a boost, giving the likes of Burnley, Brighton, Fulham renewed hope of winning.

"Everybody knows how our fans are when they push us,” he told Sky Sports. “Everybody knows how many games we have managed to come back in if we concede a goal.

"I think there are many, many games where you can see that, many examples. Of course, we miss them a lot.

"For the smaller teams, it is easier to come to Anfield with no fans. There is no pressure. You can see that in many ways and in many games. The smaller teams have more of a chance."

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has spoken similarly about how he misses the famous Kop roar and admitted he would love a full stadium for the final 10 games of the season.

He said: “I would prefer to fight this fight that we are in in the moment with our people in the stadium.

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  • "Coming into a situation like this, yeah, is not what you wish for. But if you are in [it], you can show real unity and real togetherness.

    “Then if the stadium would be now full for the next 10 games, I would really love to fight together against this.”

    Liverpool travel to Molineux on Monday night, looking for a win over Wolves that could spark their final push to secure Champions League football.

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