Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has lauded the work of his countryman and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp ahead of their highly-anticipated showdown on Thursday evening.
Despite both German coaches locking horns in the Premier League for the first time, it’s also a match of great significance regarding who will finish in the top-four.
A point currently separates the two teams, who were both heavily tipped to go the distance in the title race this season.
Indeed, Chelsea began the campaign with a different manager at the helm, but considering the Blues spent over £200 million last summer, many expected them to be much higher in the table.
Meanwhile, Liverpool, too, have underperformed in 2020/21 given their status as reigning champions of England, although their progress has largely been hampered due to mitigating circumstances such as injuries and COVID.
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Still, despite both teams falling short of their pre-season targets, Liverpool v Chelsea is always a fixture that is packed with talent.
The Anfield showdown also will enable two of Europe’s finest tactical minds to go against each other for the first time since Liverpool faced off against Paris Saint Germain in December 2019.
Tuchel on ‘outstanding’ Klopp
And Tuchel admitted he is relishing the opportunity to go against his fellow former Borussia Dortmund head coach ahead of Chelsea’s visit to Anfield.
“It is always nice to meet him,” said Tuchel. “Liverpool with Jurgen and City with Pep are the two teams with the benchmark. This is our target.
“Of course there are coaches at the moment in the PL, you enter the competition with the best clubs and coaches in the world and one of them is Jurgen clearly, he has proven that.
“It is a challenge for me to play against him and his teams but we will not meet up for a tennis match, we will play with our teams and we have to be prepared.
“Jurgen has proved to be outstanding, he transforms any club into a unit. He is a big, big part of the clubs.”
What should Liverpool expect from Chelsea?
Under Tuchel, Chelsea are very-much a well organised and tactically adept team who do not like to surrender possession too easily. The Blues enjoy dominating the ball and like to pin back their opponents as far as they can.
This is something that Klopp can utilise to his advantage given Liverpool’s systematic counter-press approach. Even with the Reds still searching for momentum, they are still one of the most dangerous teams in the division.
Either way, the contrasting managerial styles will certainly make this an intriguing tactical battle between two world renowned head coaches.