Klopp wary of West Brom
LIVERPOOL manager Jurgen Klopp knows he will find a formidable opponent in the adjacent technical area when Tony Pulis’s West Bromwich Albion visit Anfield in the Premier League tomorrow.
Pulis, renowned for the direct approach and strength at set pieces of his teams, has an excellent record against the Merseyside club, which he cemented with two draws last season.
In December Klopp upset him by initially refusing to shake hands at the final whistle, having celebrated wildly on the touchline when Liverpool equalised late in added time to draw 2-2 in one of his first matches as manager.
“It was not a friendly game,” the German said at the time.
Yesterday he told a news conference that he was well aware of the qualities that have brought West Bromwich three successive 1-1 draws and a place in the Premier League’s top 12.
“West Brom is a very, very experienced team with an experienced manager,” he said. “Tony Pulis is Tony Pulis.
“We need to find a way to play them. Each set piece is a threat — for every team, not just us — because they’re good at them.
“You need to be prepared for all these different styles.”
Before the recent game away to Hull City, Klopp told his players they needed to be “angry” and they responded with a 5-1 win.
He will demand the same this weekend, because “when you really want to be a competitor, you need this angriness all the time — even against your best friend.”
Whether or not that extends to rival managers was not clear. Klopp declined to react to criticism by Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho following the dull goalless game between the old rivals on Mondayd thath Liverpooll were overhypedh db by theh media.
“I have no idea what this could mean. I’m not interested, to be honest,” he said.
Klopp said he had no new injury concerns and that next Tuesday’s League Cup meeting with Tottenham Hotspur would have no effect on his team selection for tomorrow’s game.
“How could I do this? I have no idea who is ready for Tuesday, but I could not think about this. That would be a lack of respect for West Brom.” — Reuters MADRID — Former world No 1 and 14-time Grand Slam title winner Rafael Nadal shut down his season yesterday to concentrate instead on recovering full fitness for a fresh trophy assault in 2017.
The 30-year-old has been plagued by physical problems and has now gone through a second successive campaign without adding to his majors collection.
A left wrist injury forced him to withdraw from the French Open before the third round and kept him on the sidelines until the Olympics.
“It is no secret that I arrived to the Olympic Games short of preparation and not fully recovered, but the goal was to compete and win a medal for Spain.
“This forced recovery has caused me pain since then and now I am forced to stop and start preparing the 2017 season,” Nadal wrote on Facebook.
Nadal, ranked at six in the world, suffered a shock second round defeat to Victor Troicki at the Shanghai Masters last week. — AFP.