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Jurgen Klopp “looking forward” to challenge, but plays down Chelsea-Liverpool history

Ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Chelsea, Jurgen Klopp said he’s “looking forward” to his next challenge as Liverpool manager.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 17, 2015: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp applauds the travelling supporters after the goal-less draw with Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Kloppaganda)

Chelsea and Liverpool have played out some fierce battles in recent history.

But, while Klopp respects the challenge ahead, he has stressed that he is simply approaching Saturday’s trip to Stamford Bridge as just another game.

Addressing reporters at Melwood on Friday, the German was asked about the significance of the clash.

“Playing against Chelsea? It is a big match, but in the end it’s football,” he said, playing down the fixture’s history.

“I’ve had some big matches [in my career], you have to respect it as a match and as a match you can win.

“I’m full of motivation to win not only games like this but to win football games.

“Maybe in history it was a great game, but now it’s ninth vs. 15th – that’s football.

“We have a chance to improve our situation, that’s what we want to do – I don’t think too much about [history].

“We have to think about how they play. These are things that I’m thinking about, not about stories.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 21, 2015: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Group B match against FC Rubin Kazan. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In typical form, Klopp deflected the more leading questions from the assembled media, such as when asked whether this was the toughest challenge of his Liverpool career so far.

“You think Tottenham was easy? And Southampton?” he replied.

Chelsea is not easy but we’ve had tough games.”

He did, however, note the calibre of opposition he will be preparing his side for, suggesting Chelsea‘s poor start to the 2015/16 season will not factor in Saturday’s contest.

“Do the Chelsea players not know how to play football anymore?” the 48-year-old continued.

“Like last year you know how Chelsea play, usually it’s very defensive, [with] very good structure, then real quality to finish all the situations.

“Everyone talks about Hazard, but we can talk about Costa, Willian, Oscar, whoever, Ramires and Matic – all these guys are great football players. Their set plays with Cahill, Terry, all these big guys.

“It’s difficult to play Chelsea, but not impossible to win.

“For sure at the moment they don’t feel as good as can be, but they want to change it and that’s motivation.

“We cannot decide this game here and now, we have to play – and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Klopp has clearly done his homework on Jose Mourinho’s side, and while the Blues have struggled for form so far this season, Liverpool will not take the fixture for granted.

Full of respect for the opposition, Klopp will make sure of that.


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