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Klopp Praises Mark Hughes And Stoke

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Stoke City have impressed so far in the campaign, moving away from their former defensive and brutish ways to embrace a much more exciting form of football. This transformation has not gone unnoticed by Klopp.

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In the minds of football fans, it might take a long time to see the Britannia as anything other than a cold, rainy place where football goes to die.

To his credit, current Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has gone a long way toward reforming The Potters into something a bit more respectable. As a result, Hughes has led Stoke to their first League Cup semi-final since 1971-72.

Klopp is clearly impressed with this transformation, and was not shy about heaping compliments on his upcoming opponents.

Mark Hughes does a brilliant job there. Maybe the biggest change in football is how Stoke played a few years ago and how they are playing now. We know about the quality of Stoke of course. It's a team I know most about because I know most of the players. Philipp Wollscheid and all the players who played in Germany, of course I know a lot about them. They're very good, especially Marko Arnautovic, who has made really good development because he was really young in Germany and had some problems but everybody could see in his good moments how strong he can be. I've never met Mark before but I have big respect for what he has done there, good scouting and good style of play.

Klopp then elaborated on everything Stoke is doing right at the moment, no doubt reflecting his own long-term goals for Liverpool in the process:

They can change. If for example, Joselu plays in the center [up front] then it's a little bit more long ball, many legs defending sometimes but it's pressing, counter-pressing, it's everything. They have a clear plan and [Xherdan] Shaqiri is a key player for the last pass on what they are doing. It's good but we have to defend this. It's not allowed for us to leave a player alone with him because one-on-one he is strong and has good solutions. He can cross with the right foot and shoot with the left foot. That's football and I like this in football that you have to find solutions for this. That's one thing but another truth is they didn't win all the games. If we find a way to make them problems then we should do it all the time. It's quite interesting and a good challenge. We have a good job to do and we can go through.

Ah yes, Shaqiri, never heard that name before.

Anyway, if Klopp's comments are anything to go by, he seems to be acutely aware of the danger Stoke possesses while counter attacking and already has a plan to (hopefully) negate it. Also, if he could figure out a way to get our team to start scoring goals, that would be most helpful.