Liverpool fans would be forgiven for thinking that this season will end up like the previous two under Jurgen Klopp; a failed title challenge and another season without silverware.
Already this season, the Reds are four places and four points off where they were in the Premier League this time last year, as they go into another huge game against Tottenham at Wembley on Sunday.
The pressure may be more on Klopp's cross-city rival Ronald Koeman in the managerial dugout of late, but the German knows too well his side's start to the campaign has been far from impressive.
Liverpool already trail league leaders Manchester City by nine points in the league and that margin could get bigger if they don't win on Sunday, while the Citizens host Burnley.
Those domestic struggles have been masked by the Reds' outstanding 7-0 away win against Maribor in the Champions League during the week - reminding fans of their prolific nature in front of goal.
Sadio Mane will be absent for the trip to north London, following an injury he sustained while on international duty with Senegal, but Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino will be available after both scoring a brace in the European clash.
Tottenham's quality in the forward positions isn't bad, either. While it could well be Liverpool's shaky defence that could, again, cost them against Mauricio Pochettino's side on Sunday.
Spurs are currently five places and four points better off than the Reds, but Klopp has a genuine belief his side aren't as far off the leading pack as many believe.
Klopp: We're not 500 miles away
Speaking about Liverpool, in relation to league leaders City, Klopp said, per The Times: “I don’t compare City with us, but I think everyone can see we are not 500 miles away.
“But they fly. It was a very decisive day when we lost 5-0.
“They are a fantastic team and we don’t have to compare, but it starts so early again with us having to apologise for the season so far because one team is flying.
“[Manchester] United is also in a really good position, but we only can look at our own team."
Liverpool have lost just once this campaign but won one of their last five, while City have dropped points on just one occasion this season - against struggling Everton.
The Merseysider's convincing win in midweek is far from suggesting they could go on to win the European title this campaign and have already made an early exit in the Carabao Cup.
And in turn, that means the FA Cup seems the most realistic chance of silverware for Liverpool this campaign. However, Klopp is adamant his Reds are still in the running for the title.
“We are still in the race," Klopp said. "Not with City in the moment because they have I don’t how many points. We have all the other things.
"I don’t say already we should only fight for a top-four place. Performance-wise we are a team that should be there, but now we have to get the results."
German calls for Reds to improve ruthlessness
Klopp also believes there is just a single difference between his side and Pep Guardiola's team that is making up their significant gap in the Premier League table.
“They [City] were good in the transfer market, they probably did exactly what they had to do," Klopp added. "The football they play is not something we are too far away from, but we weren’t as clinical as they have been so far. That’s the thing."
Liverpool haven't been known for spurning their chances in recent years, but their 5-0 hammering at the hands of City last month is a big reminder of their current gulf in class and quality in front of goal
And Klopp's mid-week heroes will have to step up again on Sunday if they are to claim a vital three points against a Spurs side who boast the league's meanest defence.
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