Liverpool v Man City: Why is Jurgen Klopp Pep Guardiola's 'Kryptonite'?

[IMG]" srcset=" 240w, 320w, 480w, 624w, 800w" sizes="(min-width: 900px) 50vw, (min-width: 600px) 70vw, 100vw" alt="Jurgen Klopp (left) and Pep Guardiola (right)" class="">
Klopp's Liverpool finished fourth in the 2017-18 Premier League, which was won by Guardiola's Manchester City
bbc.comIn episode six of All Or Nothing, the documentary that follows Manchester City's record-breaking 2017-18 season, manager Pep Guardiola discusses Champions League last-16 opponents Liverpool with his assistants."They scare me," says Guardiola, in reference to the attacking threat posed by Jurgen Klopp's team. "They're dangerous, I mean it."It is a telling admission; a rare expression of uncertainty and fear from a man who spends much of the documentary's eight episodes demonstrating an unwavering confidence in himself and his team.
As we know, these seeds of doubt would develop into two chastening defeats for City over the two legs that followed, providing evidence of why the Liverpool manager's biographer Raphael Honigstein says Klopp's teams are "Kryptonite" to Guardiola's sides.The rivalry - friendly yet fierce - began in 2013, when Klopp's Borussia Dortmund ruined Guardiola's Bayern Munich debut in the German Super Cup and served notice that, perhaps, there was a way to successfully combat the Spaniard's seemingly imperious brand of football.Since that game, the two have faced each other 13 times, with Klopp the only one of Guardiola's regular opponents to have won more games against the Spaniard than he has lost.
bbc.comOf course, Guardiola can always point to the trophy cabinet if he feels the need for a riposte. Of the two managers, it is he in most need of a healthy stash of polish.
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It was City's first defeat of the campaign and six more would follow, two of which Klopp would also inflict to knock Guardiola's side out of the Champions League.And while high pressing is clearly a key component of Klopp's tactics generally, he appears to make a very specific tweak when his side come up against City.In the six matches between the teams since the start of 2016-17, Liverpool have employed a faster, more direct approach when in possession.In those six games, Klopp's side averaged 2.68 passes per passage of play, compared with 4.13 across the 2017-18 season as a whole. They also registered only four sequences of 10 or more passes per game against City, whereas their normal average is 17 sequences per game.You might think that is because City are so good at breaking up possession, but in fact the Reds made more progress up the pitch against City - 15 metres on average for every passage of play - than their 10-metre average across the rest of that season's fixtures. Their ability to pounce at pace once in possession was something no other team achieved so successfully against the champions.It is why, in All Or Nothing, Guardiola expresses his concern about how quickly Liverpool advance once they get into attacking channels.
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So what will the managers' approaches be this time?
The view of Guardiola as an idealist, with only one way of playing, would suggest he will continue with the tactical formula that has proved so successful since the start of last season.And, according to Honigstein, that is likely to be the case, although more because of the players available to him, rather than stubbornness or an aversion to straying from his tactical ideal."Guardiola is a very vain manager and wants to show that his way of doing things is the best and that his team can settle that account that Klopp opened with him," said Honigstein."But I wonder whether he would be tempted to change things up a little bit if he could."He has been unrelenting when it comes to doing things his way at Manchester City but he has shown in the past that he can be pragmatic when coming up against sides of the make-up Klopp has instilled at Liverpool and had at Dortmund."Maybe he would be more direct. But he doesn't have a Robert Lewandowski figure up front who can hold the ball up, so sending balls up top to the likes of Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane is probably not an option. That means it is difficult to him to change his approach, even if he wanted to."That makes it easy for Liverpool to set up, because they know - more or less - what they will have to do to contain City. Ultimately it will come down to how much Liverpool can disrupt City."Both teams will fancy their chances but I think the Champions League ties are very much in mind and therefore you have to give Liverpool the edge."
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