Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says that his players must not put too much focus on stopping Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku at Anfield.
The Reds face off with Thomas Tuchel’s side in an eagerly-anticipated clash on Saturday. Indeed, the pair have have started the new Premier League season with two identical results. Following 3-0 wins over Norwich and Crystal Palace, respectively, 2-0 victories followed in the last round.
However, many expect Belgium international Lukaku to take Chelsea’s attack to the next level.
His £97.5million return from Inter started brightly last weekend, the striker netting against Arsenal.
Klopp subsequently studied that game ahead of his side’s clash with Chelsea at Anfield. As such, he believes his side must use different tactics to Arsenal.
“You can make whichever headline you want to write about Romelu and Virgil [van Dijk], but he will show up around the other centre-half as well I guess!” the manager told a press conference.
“If you saw the game against Arsenal, the two goals Chelsea scored, one was Reece James crossed to him and you could see how Arsenal tried to defend it and how he got rid of the centre-backs and got in the box for a pretty easy goal.
“The other goal from Reece was because the formation of Arsenal was really central [to deal with Lukaku] so Reece was completely free on the right inside the 18-yard box.”
However, Klopp also pointed out that Chelsea have other options at their disposal in the battle to score goals.
Lukaku, though, could prove to be the vital cog. The Blues have scored more than two goals in a game only twice since Tuchel took over in January.
Klopp sounds Liverpool, Chelsea warning
“If we are only focused on Romelu, then Kai [Havertz] and Mason [Mount] will punish you. That’s the situation,” Klopp said.
“Last year, people very often spoke about Chelsea playing really well but didn’t finish enough situations off, and that was obviously the idea behind signing Romelu.
“Smart business. But the good thing about football is there’s no football you can’t defend at all.”
Chelsea also have Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi as goalscoring options. However, Christian Pulisic will not feature on Saturday after a positive coronavirus test.
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