EPL

Klopp vows Liverpool will make most of Anfield advantage in Man Utd clash

By Sports Desk January 17, 2020

Jurgen Klopp warned the Anfield factor will be "massive" as he urged Liverpool to set the tempo of Sunday's clash with Manchester United.

Liverpool had to come from behind to draw 1-1 at Old Trafford in October, spared defeat by Adam Lallana's late goal after Marcus Rashford fired United ahead.

United set up to counter-attack on that occasion, despite having home advantage, and their manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this week said his team had "found a nice way of playing" against Liverpool.

Those words could come back to haunt the Norwegian in the Premier League this weekend.

"Maybe they've found a specific way to play against Liverpool, but the difference between playing at Old Trafford and playing at Anfield is massive and we want to show that as well," Klopp said.

Rather than worry about teams 'parking the bus', Klopp's new mission is to stop the train - aware United's attackers can break at electric pace, just as they did to stunning effect in the derby against Manchester City in December.

"This game asks us for perfection. If you lose the ball at the wrong time, the train starts going and that's what is clear, but it's about us to make sure it will not happen," Klopp added.

The United draw remains the only game in which runaway leaders Liverpool have dropped points in the Premier League this season.

Klopp again pointed out his surprise at United's tactics in that previous meeting, and suggested he had no regrets over his comments about their fierce rivals' defensive approach.

"It's strange when you play against a high, high quality team, which is what United still is, and they played the way they play," Klopp said.

"We had it with Tottenham. After 70 minutes I think we had around 80 per cent possession. That's not normal. On the other hand, the counter-attacks are of the highest level in the world, that's for Tottenham and Man United for sure as well.

"I'm not saying they only counter-attack, but that's a main thing for them to do. If people want to see that as criticism, I cannot change that, but it's not, it's just a description of the situation."

Klopp said Fabinho and Joel Matip are fit to return to Liverpool's squad for the game after several months on the sidelines with their respective ankle and knee injuries, but Dejan Lovren will not resume full training until next week.

Related items

  • Arteta says it will take time for Arsenal to follow similar blueprint to champions Liverpool Arteta says it will take time for Arsenal to follow similar blueprint to champions Liverpool

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is ready to show patience in following a similar blueprint to the one Liverpool used to become Premier League champions. 

    The Reds ended a 30-year wait for a top-flight title this season, having been pipped by a solitary point by rivals Manchester City in the 2018-19 campaign. 

    It marked the culmination of a process that began in October 2015 with the appointment of Jurgen Klopp, who also delivered Champions League success to Anfield last term. 

    Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Andrew Robertson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Alisson have all arrived at various stages during that time to become key cogs in Liverpool's team. 

    Arteta, who was appointed as Unai Emery's successor at Emirates Stadium late last year, says rebuilding the Gunners' squad will need time. 

    "At the end of the day everything that has to come through our door it has to be top, top quality," he said ahead of Arsenal welcoming Liverpool to north London on Wednesday.  

    "That's the demands for this football club and it cannot be any different. If we have to wait to do that, let's wait, but everything that comes through our door it has to be something that increases significantly the level of our team."

    Van Dijk, Robertson and Wijnaldum move to Merseyside from Southampton, Hull City and Newcastle United respectively, and it was pointed out to Arteta during his press conference that top-tier talent may already be available in the Premier League. 

    Arteta concurred but added Liverpool had also looked further afield, spending big in the transfer market in the process – something it is reported Arsenal may not be able to do in the next window. 

    "It's a good mixture because as well they [Liverpool] bought players from Monaco, from Italy," Arteta added.  

    "It's a good mixture. You need players that have experience of the Premier League and have done it here, so in terms of the adaptation process it is much quicker. 

    "But they bought players with European experiences, as well as playing in big national teams with big responsibility - and don't forget for a big amount of money as well." 

    Arsenal are ninth in the table with three games to play.

  • Martial on top of his game – Solskjaer Martial on top of his game – Solskjaer

    Anthony Martial has cast aside any doubts over his ability with his superb form since the resumption of the Premier League season, according to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. 

    Manchester United striker Martial has scored 16 times in the top flight this term, including five goals since the Premier League restarted in June. 

    The France international has formed part of a formidable trio up front for United alongside Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, with midfielder Bruno Fernandes also in sensational form. 

    But Solskjaer insists he never had any concerns over Martial's quality, though the Norwegian has seen a different side of the 24-year-old's game this campaign. 

    "It's great when you're a striker scoring goals, on top of your game, fit and strong," Solskjaer told a news conference ahead of United's clash with Crystal Palace on Thursday. 

    "Mason has come into the frame and not looked back since the restart and it's fantastic to see them on the training ground. 

    "Martial is definitely developing, improving and enjoying his football, he's stepped it up this season as an individual and more as a team player, and physically. 

    "I remember there were talks about our forwards last season being the least active and there were stats flying around but Anthony is now working really hard for the team and he is a quality, quality finisher." 

    On Wednesday, the University of Manchester announced Martial's team-mate Rashford will receive an honorary degree in recognition of his achievements in the fight against child poverty. 

    Rashford partnered with FareShare to help raise £20million to put towards funding for free meals for children in need during the coronavirus pandemic, while the 22-year-old also successfully campaigned for the British government to extend a food voucher scheme for underprivileged children. 

    The England forward will be the youngest ever recipient of an honorary doctorate, and Solskjaer lauded Rashford's efforts off the field. 

    "We're so proud of Marcus, he's a great person and a great human being," Solskjaer said. 

    "The work he's done, he cares so much more about others than himself. Very proud of him and hopefully he'll keep his personality for the rest of his life and be himself." 

    United dropped points against Southampton last time out but are on equal footing with fourth-placed Leicester City as the race for Champions League qualification heads to the wire.

    However, Solskjaer is confident in his side's mentality approaching their final three fixtures.

    "Keep on doing what we've been doing, trust yourselves," he added. 

    "We're at a club where it always boils down to the last couple of weeks of the season, we've done fantastic since we restarted, had a great run, a little bit of a setback is a test for mentalities." 

  • Premier League transfer window set for July 27 until October 5 Premier League transfer window set for July 27 until October 5

    The Premier League transfer window is set to be open from July 27 until October 5.

    The 10-week period was settled upon by Premier League shareholders on Wednesday but is subject to approval from FIFA. 

    England's top-flight campaign, which resumed in June after being suspended for three months amid the coronavirus pandemic, is scheduled to be completed on July 26. 

    Although international transfers must be completed by October 5, a domestic-only window will run until October 16.

    However, Premier League clubs will only be able to conduct deals with English Football League (EFL) teams and not with each other. 

    A Premier League statement read: "Premier League shareholders have agreed on the dates for the summer 2020 transfer window. 

    "The window will open for 10 weeks at the end of the current Premier League season, starting 27 July and ending October 5.  

    "Following consultation with the EFL, a domestic-only window will be added from October 5, closing 5pm on October 16. During this window, Premier League clubs will only be able to trade with EFL clubs (either loans or permanent registrations). No transfers can take place between Premier League clubs in this period.  

    "The transfer window is subject to the approval of FIFA."                                                                                                                                        

    While Premier League clubs will be able make signings before the Champions League and Europa League reach their respective conclusions next month, UEFA has already confirmed no new recruits will be able to compete. 

    A date for the start of the 2020-21 Premier League season is yet to be confirmed, though it has been reported it could commence on the final weekend of August. 

    UEFA Nations League matches are scheduled to take place from September 3-8, meaning that if an August start is not possible the campaign may not begin until the weekend of September 12.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.