MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

“Bin our analysis” – Late manager switch forces Jurgen Klopp to change plans

Jurgen Klopp is prepared to throw his analysis in the “bin” after Sheffield United pulled the plug on their manager and appointed another, but there is one thing he wants Chris Wilder to think.

With Sheffield United sitting at the bottom of the Premier League table with five points from 14 games, Paul Heckingbottom was officially relieved of his duties on Tuesday.

Chris Wilder, whom Klopp has history with, has been reappointed at Bramall Lane and will be in the dugout when Liverpool make the trip on Wednesday evening.

It will force a re-think from Klopp and his coaches, who had been preparing to face Heckingbottom’s cellar dwellers, but the manager is eager to overwhelm Wilder.

“I obviously remember the way Sheffield United played under Chris Wilder, overlapping wing-backs or underlapping wing-backs – as one part of it,” Klopp said to the press when discussing the appointment.

“He probably has his press conference now [Tuesday afternoon], training after that and maybe another session in the morning.

“First thing, we can probably bin our analysis!

“We have to focus on ourselves, I don’t think he will change too much – what can he change in that short period? – and we don’t have to think too much about it.

“We really should just prepare for a football game, we play teams with five at the back, 5-3-2, 5-4-1, quite frequently, to be honest, so we have to make sure we give them a proper job to think about.”

The ‘new manager bounce’ is not foreign territory for the Reds, unfortunately, but Klopp does not want Liverpool to “start getting confused” by what the Blades might or might not change – even if his analysis now needs somewhat of a re-do.

Klopp added: “I understand it’s always like that with a new manager coming in, and now we start getting confused, we shouldn’t. Actually, we can play in different ways.

“As happy as I am for Chris that he is back in the job, in his club, if he thinks about us, he must [think], ‘oh my god, they come from everywhere’. That’s the thing.

“The game will be played tomorrow, not today in the press conference.”

Wilder returns to the Blades having left back in March 2021, he takes over from Heckingbottom, whom was in place from November 2021 and presided over their promotion to the Premier League last season.

With this match coming over three days after the dramatic win over Fulham and less than three days prior to the trip to Crystal Palace, there will be fresh legs as Klopp “figures out who [plays] and when.”