Borussia Dortmund might still be on top of the Bundesliga table with a game in hand, but Jürgen Klopp knows very well that Bayern Munich will be an ever-present threat. The Liverpool manager has been spending portion of the squad’s time in Marbella preparing for a foe that he spent years tracking when he was calling the shots at the Westfalenstadion. On Tuesday, Liverpool supporters will see how well Klopp’s preparations will hold up against the latest version of the Bavarian juggernaut.
Speaking to the club’s website, Klopp sketched out the significance of the task awaiting Liverpool’s players at Anfield.
“You watch always the results and goals, but full games it’s different,” said the Reds’ manager. “[I’ve watched] five or six and now we have the more detailed analysis, and it’s just quality. It’s a mix of quality and experience.”
As for their recent blips in league form, their nervy win over FC Augsburg in which they conceded an own goal right at the game’s start, their purported vulnerabilities - Klopp knows that Bayern Munich have a unique pedigree, and that they have assembled quite a stockpile of talent.
“They were six times in a row champions of Germany, which is not easy, and they were one of the teams in the last 10 years who were pretty much all the time in the quarter-finals, semi-finals, final of the Champions League,” added Klopp.
“These players are still all there, with a few nice add-ons: Goretzka, Gnabry, Coman. They have different roles in the team but they are all still there and it’s just a really good football team. They had a little dip form-wise in the league when Dortmund played outstanding football, so that’s why there was a gap.”
Some have argued that Klopp’s prior familiarity with Bayern over the years could give Liverpool a slight edge in terms of preparations, but the manager was quick to caution against that view.
“The style of play changed. If you are a Pep Guardiola team or a Jupp Heynckes team or now a Niko Kovac team, of course that changes [and] it’s different, but we have to adapt to that.”
“It’s quality in all departments actually and we have to admit that because it’s a fact, but the good thing is that we are good as well, we know that,” added Klopp. “But we don’t go into the game as a favorite or whatever.”