Jurgen Klopp is not taking today’s match lightly. He understands the importance of every point when chasing the Premier League title. After all, last year Liverpool lost the title by just a single point, though their goal difference was 5 worse than Manchester City.
So we can expect a committed Liverpool tomorrow who will be hungry for three points and a chance to significantly increase their goal difference.
In the Liverpool programme for this match, Klopp wants his players to increase their performance levels to counter what he expects to be a fanatical following from Newcastle fans. He references last year’s match at St James Park where the Reds were able to get the three points through a late goal from Divock Origi. Klopp expects that support to follow Newcastle to Anfield:
“I’ve mentioned about the game at Newcastle last season. A big part of that game was how ferocious their supporters were in backing their team. I’m pretty sure we expect the same in the away section this afternoon.
“So, in the same way, the players need to increase their performance levels to take on this Newcastle, so must we all.”
Klopp is aware of the intricacies of Newcastle’s season thus far. He knows all about our big win at Tottenham and will use that to prevent a Goliath-type mentality.
This is what Klopp had to say yesterday in the official Liverpool website about what he sees in this Newcastle side:
“For Steve, for sure, a difficult job. Following after Rafa is probably never easy but in this specific case, really difficult. He did fantastic so far, really fantastic.
“Close games, OK the one against Norwich maybe not too nice but since then close games and good results as well.
“Very difficult to play. They kept pretty much the style of last year. Rondon got replaced by Joelinton – if you’re looking for a player who plays similar to Rondon, perfect choice. He can keep the ball, he’s a proper threat, has the speed and all that stuff.
“The wing is quick, five in the back and all that stuff, it’s difficult to create chances against. They are always ready for counter-attacks, so they have the speed for it.
“How I said, 24 or 25 percent possession at Tottenham but always really, really good. They scored a wonderful goal and defended with a big heart and good organisation.
“That’s what we had to prepare for and that’s what we did. That will not be easy. I’m really impressed by the solutions they found and things they did so far.”
We expect Newcastle to have a similar plan today as at Tottenham. With Liverpool coming off the international break, Klopp has not had as much time to prepare as he would have liked. So if there is a time to face Liverpool at Anfield, this could be it. However unlikely that would be, we still expect the lads to put in a “big-hearted” performance.
This is what Jurgen says of Liverpool’s preparation for this match after the lengthy break:
“Because of international call-ups we haven’t had the majority of the squad together for long to prepare for this game. I know we are not unique and every team is affected. But it does impact.
“What’s important is that we stick to the values that have served us so well. Values of embracing hard work, doing the right things, being relentless, staying together and most importantly ensuring we bring the intensity in everything we do.
“A break from being together might impact a little on preparation and therefore rhythm, although I would argue we have the mentality and character to combat this. But it does not – and must not – be allowed to impact on our intensity of approach. This is the same with it being an early kick-off. We have proved time and time again that factors outside our control won’t affect us if we don’t allow it.
It’s extremely unlikely to catch Liverpool with their guard down under a manager like Klopp. However, we think the lads will be up for the match and hope they can make the fans proud at Anfield today.
This article was originally posted here