Thomas Tuchel has already been told how to beat Jurgen Klopp ahead of Chelsea vs Liverpool – Football.London

Chelsea face perhaps their biggest match of the Premier League season later today as they welcome Liverpool to Stamford Bridge.

The Blues are now 11 points behind table-topping Manchester City following the latter’s last-gasp victory over Arsenal on New Year’s Day and it is imperative for Thomas Tuchel to keep tabs with Pep Guardiola and his team.

However, they face third-place Liverpool this afternoon, who have played two games less than City and one fewer than Chelsea as they also look to keep the pace at the top of the Premier League table.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side lost their second match of the league campaign last time out away at Leicester City, but the Reds will be determined to bounce back in west London.

Not many teams outplay Liverpool and get a result. Klopp has completely transformed the Reds’ way of thinking since being appointed manager in 2015, but there are ways to combat the ‘Gegenpress’ style of play, as Rafael Benitez explained back in February 2020.

The former Liverpool boss told The Athletic: “When our Newcastle United team played Liverpool, our quick players weren’t faster than theirs were, so in the end, the only way to get something from the game is to be really solid.

“The problem is that you cannot keep this solidity up forever if they are on top of you all the time. Defending for 90 minutes is impossible, so you have to try to create something on the counter-attack, to be a threat, to give them something to be more worried about.”

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel shouts out instructions at Anfield
Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel shouts out instructions at Anfield

Benitez added: “You have to try and get away from their pressing. To beat Liverpool or City you need speed and skill in the wide areas up front; if not, it just comes down to passing the ball — you will not be better than them at that, and they will usually be faster and stronger than you.”

Klopp, though, will not be present at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, with the Liverpool boss currently isolating after testing positive for coronavirus on Saturday.

What’s Tuchel said?

Tuchel is a huge fan of Klopp and what he has achieved in his career, with the German labelling his compatriot as one of the best in the business.

Speaking back in August last year about Klopp, the Chelsea boss said: “He has my full respect. He is one of the best managers in the world and has proven it in every club he has worked at.

“He has the ability to make huge footprints in any club and make huge impacts and becomes one with the club on a level that was in Mainz, Dortmund and Liverpool.”

Early Chelsea team news

Tuchel could drop Romelu Lukaku understands following comments that emerged earlier in the week where the Belgian criticised his manager’s playing style.

Meanwhile, Reece James and Ben Chilwell are both sidelined through injuries, with Andreas Christensen a huge doubt after suffering a back problem against Brighton in the week.

Thiago Silva and Timo Werner will be assessed after returning to training in recent days.

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