Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is concerned his side will be unprepared when they face Sam Allardyce’s new-look West Brom on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
The Baggies lost to Aston Villa in Allardyce’s first game in charge last weekend, leaving them five points from safety in the Premier League ahead of Sunday’s trip to Anfield after managing just one win in their first 14 matches.
West Bromwich Albion
Klopp expects to see a change in the way West Brom set up now Allardyce has had a full week with his players, which he says will make Liverpool’s preparations that much harder with no tape to analyse.
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“I haven’t got to know him too well, we only met at the sideline and obviously he is very animated and I’m very animated but I respect him a lot,” Klopp told Sky Sports News. “West Brom is in a difficult situation and they decided to bring in Sam and he has a proven record in these kind of situations.
“So we are aware of that and it will be a tricky one because, I wouldn’t say we are obsessed, but we love to analyse the opponent before a game to know as much as we can.
“That makes it really difficult this time because Sam had only three or four days before he played against Aston Villa so maybe not too many changes before that. But now a full training week for our game so he can change a lot of things.
“It makes analysis tricky. We expect to face a lower block, we expect facing a team who tries to play channel balls in behind with a lot of runs and a lot of sprints this kind of stuff and we have to be creative, concentrated and defend, especially in the counter-pressing moments.
“We know what Sam is able to do, how he is able to organise a team and in one and a half weeks you can do a lot as a coach, so we expect that.”
‘We are trying everything to keep the few boys we have fit’
Klopp has had to contend with what he describes as an “incredible amount” of injuries this season but the champions have still managed to lead from the front in their battle to retain the Premier League title.
However, table position is not too important to Klopp at this stage of the season, he has spent most of his time after matches waiting anxiously for email updates from the medical department to find out whether his players have made it through the latest round of matches without any injury problems.
“I am proud of [the players for dealing with the injury problems],” added Klopp. “Being top of the league is nice, it’s the best position to be in, but now really it’s nothing we think about at the moment. Not even half of the season is played so a lot of things can happen.
“We’ve had an incredible amount of injuries and it means after the game when you have accepted the result, it’s always looking to the medical department with two eyes and you just want to know if anything happened and if they all got through properly. Even when it’s then over the next morning you wait for the email from the medical department.
“That’s really tough but again, our job is to use what you’ve got, and that means the club tries to do the best it can and that we can perform on the highest level. We try that in training, the medical department, the fitness department and the nutrition department are all trying everything, we all work really hard to make these few boys left available.
“So far it worked out kind of, we gave a lot of opportunities to young players, which they used in an incredible manner and I’m really happy with that. There’s always something good to come from the bad situations as well.”
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