The boss explains Sheffield United analysis
Jürgen Klopp is expecting a 'really interesting' challenge when Liverpool journey to Sheffield United on Saturday.
Chris Wilder’s United have collected eight points from their opening six Premier League fixtures after being promoted as Championship runners-up last season.
The Reds, meanwhile, have won each of their league matches so far this season and come into the game on the back of a Carabao Cup victory at Milton Keynes Dons in midweek.
Klopp’s analysis of Wilder’s charges tells him Liverpool will have to find the right balance in their football at Bramall Lane.
“It’s incredible what Chris is doing there, I’m looking forward to meeting him, to be honest – it’ll be the first time we see each other,” he said at his pre-match press conference.
“In the analysis period you always see a lot about the team, it’s really interesting what they do, they do really well in the system they play, really aggressive, good pressing and then when they have the ball there’s this slightly interesting pattern when the centre-halves overlap whoever is there, the winger or whatever. That’s interesting.
“I’m four years in England now nearly and I don’t know everything about the other clubs, historically, but it seems to be a big club obviously and they deserve being in the league.
“Since I’m in I’ve followed the Championship a lot and I know how competitive the league is. Going up the way they did, against the teams like Leeds and Derby last year, it’s a big one. For sure, a really great coach and I’m looking forward to facing his team.”
On his desire for Liverpool to defend as a team, Klopp added: “Everybody is responsible for everything, easy as that. That’s how football is.
“When the other team has the ball I don’t see any reason why somebody should not be involved in defending, to be honest; if you are played over, you can chase the guy from behind. That’s the plan, that’s normal.
“But hopefully we have the ball a lot and then we have to do some things with it. We play against a compact formation, but they are smart enough, they don’t only defend.
“The goalkeeper is pretty long in his goal-kicks, so it’s clear where a lot of the challenges will be for second balls, already close to our goal. We have to be really aware; these second-ball fights in football are now so important and it’s all about being ready, having the right level of aggressiveness and stuff like that. That’s so important and is what we need to show there.
“It’s not only about football – playing around and playing in behind. It’s a complex job to do, but it’s not the first time we played against a team like this. Sheffield are working together for a while now, you see everything is settled, they know what they do – it’s quite impressive.
“Eight points at this stage of the Premier League, I think they would have bought easily. And they will go for 11 in that game, 100 per cent. It’s their stadium. We want to make sure that if, then it must be the most difficult way.”