Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool will be prepared if Jose Mourinho packs the defensive third when Manchester United comes to Anfield on Sunday.
Klopp has defeated all but one Premier League team he’s matched up against – Manchester United – and is hoping this weekend will provide him with a first win in six against the Red Devils. In the previous five, Liverpool has drawn three and lost two.
“They have not only one style, long ball football or deep sitting,” Klopp said when asked about the perception of negative tactics at Manchester United under Mourinho. “Maybe last year a little bit in the game [at Anfield], but they didn’t do it at Old Trafford, no.”
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Klopp doesn’t judge Mourinho for playing defensive, and says it’s all about the results. “That’s football tactics,” Klopp said. “I’m not the Pope of football tactics and tell people what they have to do. It is just football tactics. We need to find a solution. Is it nice if you have to play that? That is what makes it smart if they would do it.”
The Liverpool boss compared Mourinho’s team narrative to that of France at the World Cup this summer, when the team appeared to struggle at times despite ultimately winning the tournament. “It’s a bit like France, the world champions. Did they play exactly the football of the potential of the team? No. [Antoine] Griezmann, [Paul] Pogba, the players they had were unbelievable. Did they play bam, bam, bam like Spain? No. They went for the result and Didier Deschamps did everything right, perfect, brilliant.”
While Klopp still isn’t convinced Mourinho will decide to play defensively, he says if they do, it’s up to them to earn the win no matter what. “As a manager you have to do what you think is right and let other people judge it or results give you the right response,” Klopp said. “We have to try to find solutions for problems we don’t know exactly which we will have on the weekend because we have no clue how they will exactly play.”