The bat­tle of the emo­tional bosses

Klopp look­ing for­ward to duel with Chelsea’s Conte

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

Jur­gen Klopp has never been one to hide his emo­tions. The Liver­pool boss wears his heart on his sleeve, ex­cit­edly pa­trolling the touch­line and cel­e­brat­ing goals with un­bri­dled joy.

The Ger­man is also quick to recog­nise a kin­dred spirit and in Chelsea man­ager An­to­nio Conte he sees a man of equal pas­sion.

Ahead of Liver­pool’s trip to Stam­ford Bridge to­mor­row night, Klopp was full of ad­mi­ra­tion for his op­po­site num­ber.

“He looks quite emo­tional even when they don’t score,” said the for­mer Borus­sia Dort­mund boss. “He’s a great man­ager – the Pep Guardi­ola of Turin.

“He cre­ated their spe­cial type of play and had a very suc­cess­ful time there and with the na­tional team. It is quite im­pres­sive what he has done un­til now but I don’t play against An­to­nio Conte.”

The Blues have yet to taste de­feat un­der Conte, win­ning their open­ing three Pre­mier League games be­fore sal­vaging a draw at Swansea.

The Ital­ian man­ager has also man­aged to rein­vig­o­rate two of Chelsea’s most po­tent threats – Eden Haz­ard and Diego Costa.

“He’s world class,” Klopp said of Span­ish striker Costa. “He is a real war­rior on the pitch, he uses his body all the time and that is a qual­ity. He was nearly un­stop­pable against Swansea.

“Haz­ard was outstanding at An­field last sea­son but we didn’t de­fend against him too well. We will have to do bet­ter.”

While Klopp was quick to pay re­spect to Chelsea, he feels his Liver­pool charges should be full of con­fi­dence fol­low­ing last week­ends’ 4-1 de­struc­tion of cham­pi­ons Le­ices­ter.

“They’re phys­i­cally very strong. Last year was not a Chelsea sea­son but now they are back on track. We need to be ready for the chal­lenge,” he said.

“It is a game you can look for­ward to, even af­ter play­ing our last game and then you be­come aware the next game is Fri­day at Chelsea - it sounds good.

“Fri­day night is one of the best mo­ments to play football. Let’s go for it.” The Reds were at their bril­liant at­tack­ing best against Clau­dio Ranieri’s side, but there have been signs of frail­ties at the back. They lost 2-0 to Burn­ley, con­ceded three even in vic­tory over Arse­nal and handed Le­ices­ter their only goal with some sloppy de­fend­ing. “There is still space for im­prove­ment and we need to im­prove for the Chelsea game,” added Klopp. “They have so much ex­pe­ri­ence and we are much younger. “It’s not the eas­i­est to chal­lenge them but we are pre­par­ing well and the play­ers that played in the last game are ready. As is De­jan Lovren.” The Croa­t­ian de­fender missed the Le­ices­ter game with a bruised eye but could be re­called in place of mid­fielder Lu­cas Leiva who filled in at the back at An­field. How­ever, it is in at­tack that Liver­pool have im­pressed so far this sea­son. And Klopp has been par­tic­u­larly pleased with the per­for­mances of his next-door neigh­bour Adam Lal­lana. “He’s a nice guy as a neigh­bour. I have other nice neigh­bours who aren’t as good at football,” he joked. “I knew him from Southamp­ton - bril­liant player. He can play dif­fer­ent po­si­tions. He is a quick, smart player who is very im­por­tant.” Liver­pool could also choose to bring in­flu­en­tial Philippe Coutinho back into the line-up af­ter the Brazil­ian started on the bench against Le­ices­ter af­ter re­turn­ing from in­ter­na­tional duty. Mean­while, Chelsea will be with­out in­jured cap­tain John Terry. That means David Luiz will be in line for his sec­ond de­but for the Blues af­ter re­turn­ing to the club from French cham­pi­ons Paris Saint-Ger­main last month.

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