Jürgen Klopp: Wolves boss Paul Lambert is a nice guy, but Liverpool want to send him back empty-handed

Jürgen Klopp: Wolves boss Paul Lambert is a nice guy, but Liverpool want to send him back empty-handed

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp will face a familiar face when the Reds take on Paul Lambert's Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup fourth-round on Saturday, insisting that while the two have history that he wants Lambert to return to the Midlands without success.

charlie-malam
Charlie Malam

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp is relishing the chance to reacquaint with Paul Lambert when Wolverhampton Wanderers visit Anfield on Saturday. 

The Reds host Lambert's Championship side in the fourth-round of the FA Cup, Klopp having met the Scot previously because of their respective Borussia Dortmund ties.

The Liverpool manager is renowned for his seven years at the Signal Iduna Park, winning the Bundesliga twice and guiding the German giants to the UEFA Champions League final in 2013.

Lambert spent two seasons at Dortmund as a player, scoring twice in 63 appearances and helping the club to their only Champions League triumph back in 1997.

Klopp and Lambert were on the same coaching course, first meeting in Germany in 2004, and have known each other since - but the German is no mood to be charitable this weekend, insisting his side are keen to progress to the next round of the cup.

Klopp says he wants Lambert to go back to Wolverhampton empty-handed

The Reds boss, asked about Lambert, responded: "Character? I don't think we've met often enough that I can say a lot about his character. I should not. But as I know him, he's a very, very nice man and absolutely a Dortmund legend."

Klopp said that while he was at Dortmund, Lambert was "always welcome" and "watched training when he had no job" saying that they "spoke a little bit" during that time.

But he declared it was "too long ago" to recall his character, though Klopp said he was "pretty sure" they completed "a licence together in Germany."

"We know each other well. I always followed [his progress] when he was at Aston Villa," Klopp added, admitting that he "didn't see too much" of Lambert's Wolves side "until now" having seen "the last three games."

He continued: "He's a very nice guy and I'm really happy that we can meet together tomorrow, but even when he's very nice, I would like to send him home with empty hands."

Reds boss: I don't hope we will be dominant, I think we will be dominant

Wolves currently sit 18th in the second-tier, though Lambert guided his team to a famous upset of top-flight outfit Stoke City 2-0 at the Bet365 Stadium earlier this month.

Klopp is wary of the test that the West Midlands team will pose this weekend, but says his team are prepared for their style.

He believes Liverpool's last two games "were a very good test for this" because Wolves are "a pretty direct team" who have "long-ball play" with "target players up front and then counter-pressing."

But he says it is "not only about" how Wolves are playing and how they will set up, insisting that Liverpool's "style of play forces the other team in [to] a deep position" on the pitch.

"It will be again, working a lot, work to do for us, not a lot of spaces, but we are used to it and we already did it really well," Klopp said, insisting that "it should be clear" that he doesn't "hope" that Liverpool will dominate the game but they they "will be dominant" and then have the challenge of having "to find the spaces between their players."

Goalkeeping situation the smallest issue we have, says Klopp

Klopp is expected to make some changes to his side, though he vowed to name as strong a line-up as possible - with Lucas LeivaGeorginio Wijnaldum, Alberto Moreno and Divock Origi among the senior names expected to start.

The manager has a decision to make between the club's two goalkeeper, with Loris Karius having played the cup games and Simon Mignolet recently picked for all of the Reds' league outings.

But Klopp says that the goalkeeping situation is one of the smallest issues he has to face at the moment.

Klopp said that he "100 per-cent" understands how he must "always speak about the problems" they face while being asked about the recent issues surrounding his team - having won just one game in seven in 2017 going into this clash.

He explained: "A few weeks ago, we spoke about our goalkeepers and a lot of people thought last year, we were not happy with one goalkeeper. This year, we are not happy with two goalkeepers, so made it even worse. Now I think the smallest issue we have is goalkeepers, so how nice is this?"

Klopp acknowledged that 'keepers "can't unfortunately win the games alone" but said he has "never [been] in doubt about [the] quality" of the shot-stoppers available to him, saying that their form is "about timing and things like this."

"Simon is doing really well, another really important thing," stated Klopp, insisting that he is "fine" with the club's "goalkeeper situation" and adding: "Hopefully I can say the same on Sunday."

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