In the time Jürgen Klopp has spent in English football, Tony Pulis hasn't been his biggest fan. From criticising Klopp celebrating a dramatic equaliser at Anfield against West Bromwich Albion to suggesting that foreign managers, Klopp included, are unfairly praised above their British counterparts.
Who on earth would want to see Klopp’s counter pressing and attacking style over Pulis’ direct and physical approach? Pulis’ record after his sides reach 40 points is mostly abysmal and has never reached 50 points as manager of Stoke City, Crystal Palace, or West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League.
His side currently sit on 44 points in eighth, but Southampton are only four points behind with a game in hand. Perhaps Claude Puel will be getting undeserved praise if he finishes in eighth instead of Pulis.
“There'll be no problems with myself or Klopp,” Pulis said, probably wearing the whitest trainers in the land. “He's a competitive man and wants his team to win. There's no problems this end.
“They're [Liverpool] in the mix fighting for those four spots. They've picked up injuries like everybody else, it doesn't flow on the same level all the time, you have your ups and downs in the season.
“You have to accept that you'll win some games and play well and lose games and play badly, or you could play well and still lose games, that's the ebb and flow of professional football and that's what everybody has to put up with.”
The Welsh manager has never lost to Liverpool at home and “hopes that continues” as his side chases a record Premier League points tally. Klopp, however, has not lost to Pulis since becoming Liverpool manager with two draws and a win to show for his efforts against a team with strengths that match Liverpool’s weaknesses.
A win would not only bring Liverpool a step closer to Champions League football but break new ground against Tony Pulis. West Brom have scored the most goals from set pieces, have the tallest team in the league, and are managed by a master of exploiting height, physicality, set pieces, second balls, compact and deep defending, and direct football at the expense of teams with bigger ambitions.
A win on Sunday would be significant in more ways than one.