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Jurgen Klopp has urged his Liverpool players to end the season on a successful note by beating Middlesbrough and securing a top-four finish.
The Reds will qualify for the Champions League if they defeat already-relegated Middlesbrough in the final game of the season, but should they drop points they face the possibility of allowing Arsenal to overtake them in the table.
Having finished eighth last season, Klopp is pleased with the improvement his side have made this year but he believes they will have to perform to get the result they need on Sunday.
"It's an important game because it has been a very successful season so far, and we want to continue," Klopp told his pre-match press conference.
"We have to perform to win, if we have enough points after this game to go to the Champions League we deserve it, if not, we don't.
"The best thing would be if we are 4-0 up after two minutes but that won't be possible. Football games develop - and that always depends on the start. The start is important but if it is not good it does not mean we will stop.
"We will fight, that's clear, but Middlesbrough are a football playing side. They have good players. They are good counter-attacking, quick wingers, very experienced striker.
"Have we improved? Of course, but we don't have to talk now about improvement. Now is the time to talk about getting these three points. We have 73 points and the chance to get 76 points in a difficult season with a lot of competitors."
Meanwhile, Klopp has confirmed that Roberto Firmino could return to the matchday squad for Sunday’s game.
Firmino missed the defeat of West Ham after sustaining a knock against Southampton, but he is making progress and Klopp is hopeful of having him available against Middlesbrough.
"[It’s] very positive," he said. “We could not decide until now, but he feels good and he feels comfortable. He did a lot of things, but was not part of team training. That’s not a problem after this long season.
“I think we will make a final test tomorrow. In this moment, I would rather say ‘yes’ than ‘perhaps’, but I am not sure.”
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