LONDON: Anfield’s patrons will run the rule over Jurgen Klopp for the first time on Thursday when he supervises his maiden Liverpool home game against Rubin Kazan in the Europa League.
Having grown accustomed to the tactical tweaking and press conference grandstanding of Brendan Rodgers over the last three years, the denizens of Anfield Road are now adjusting to the methods of the gregarious German.
Klopp has dazzled in his early media appearances, but last Saturday he unveiled his blueprint for on-pitch success with a high-pressing, hard-running team display in a 0-0 draw at Tottenham Hotspur.
Cancelled out: Klopp’s Liverpool hold Tottenham to goalless draw
“I liked what I saw,” said former Liverpool stalwart Jamie Carragher. “Very rarely do you see a manager stamp his authority on a team from day one, but that’s what he did.”
Liverpool’s players ran a combined 116km in the game — making them the first team to outrun Spurs this season.
Klopp jettisoned Rodgers’ back three in favour of a 4-3-2-1 system at White Hart Lane, which saw 20-year-old Belgium international Divock Origi operate as a lone striker.
Injuries have restricted Klopp’s options in attack, but he is expected to have Daniel Sturridge back for the visit of Rubin, while Christian Benteke is also closing in on a return to fitness.
Rival clubs beware: Klopp promises ‘full throttle’ football at Liverpool
Spurs looking to extend unbeaten run
Anderlecht and Tottenham will roll back the years when the two sides meet at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium in a rematch of the 1984 UEFA Cup final, won by Spurs 4-3 on penalties after a pair of 1-1 draws.
The north Londoners have four Belgian players on their books but will be without Nacer Chadli for six weeks after he damaged the ankle ligaments in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool.
Spurs are unbeaten in the Premier League since the opening weekend of the season and lead Group J with four points, three ahead of an Anderlecht side without a win in five European matches.
Liverpool, Tottenham, Dortmund all held in Europa
Azerbaijan’s Qabala host Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund make a 3,300km trip east to Azerbaijan where Group C rivals Qabala will put their strong defensive home record on the line as they face German opposition for the first time.
The Germans top the group on four points, while Qabala are bottom on one but did record a fifth consecutive clean sheet at home in Europe after opening the campaign with a 0-0 draw against PAOK.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 22nd, 2015.
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