Jurgen Klopp has warned his Liverpool players to deal with what he expects to be an “intense 90 minutes against Manchester United – and has cracked a joke about how his friendship with Ralf Rangnick will be put on ice.
Liverpool host United in the Premier League on Tuesday night in a game that is vital to both sides’ seasons. The Reds know a win can crank the heat up on Manchester City in the race for the title. The Red Devils need the points, meanwhile, to firmly put themselves in the race for the top four once again.
As such, Klopp – speaking at a press conference to preview the game – knows exactly what to expect from the Anfield encounter.
“It’s a big game, a massive game, two of the biggest clubs in the world,” Klopp said. “Always we have to learn to deal with it. Some players had to learn how to deal with it. This time it’s an incredible important game again for both teams.
“When they do the fixture list, that’s one of the first ones games I look for!”
Knowing plenty is also on the line for United, Klopp expects a high-octane encounter.
“The Man United we will face, they will go for it. They want to go to the Champions League. It will be an intense 90 minutes. We have to make sure they don’t take our points to get there.
“This time it’s an incredibly important game again for both teams. That says it all. Both teams are fighting.”
Klopp insists this game is just as important as the one on Saturday that saw them beat City to reach the FA Cup final.
“We would have always been focused on this game regardless of what had happened on Saturday. Focus will not be our problem – we know it is a massive one.”
Klopp: Little time to prepare
Klopp admits his players and coaching staff have not had much time to prepare for the game.
However, he insists he would have it no other way as Liverpool reach the business end of the season.
“We’ve been in this situation since January – we are used to it. Recovery sessions, one session today – then we play tomorrow. The longest part of today will be sitting here in the media room!
“As long as you are successful, you don’t have the time. It is pretty demanding – I would love to have more time but that is wishful thinking. The boys are always ready to prepare as good as they can. For for three-quarters of teams in the league, it is the same.”
Klopp ready for Rangnick reunion
Klopp will go head to head with compatriot and colleague Rangnick for the first time since the latter’s arrival in the Premier League.
Asked about their friendship, Klopp joked: “How’s my relationship with Rangnick? On hold!”
He continued: “I haven’t spoken to him since he has been in England out of respect. But you can see the changes he has made there and the parts he has improved. When I prepare for the United game, I don’t think about Ralf, it’s about preparing for the team.”
Discussing how Rangnick has improved United, Klopp added: “Ralf always tries to organise the team, that’s what he has done. United played some really good games, but even when they win it’s difficult to gain momentum. They concede less now for sure.”
And while a repeat scoreline may be unlikely, Liverpool will go into the game confident of picking up another three points.
The post Jurgen Klopp cracks joke about Ralf Rangnick as Liverpool boss builds up ‘massive’ Man Utd game appeared first on TEAMtalk.