Jurgen Klopp praises opposite number Frank Lampard ahead of Chelsea clash
 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Jurgen Klopp praises opposite number Frank Lampard ahead of Chelsea clash

Klopp also offers injury update in press conference and faces questions on dip in defensive form

dave-comerford
David Comerford

Jurgen Klopp has hailed his relatively inexperienced counterpart for Frank Lampard for building an 'exciting' Chelsea team ahead of Liverpool's trip to Stamford Bridge.

The Reds are looking to preserve their 100% record and maintain a five-point cushion at the top of the Premier League table.

But they are sure to be tested by the West Londoners, who have won two of their last three, scoring ten goals in the process, after coming out of the blocks slowly.

They took Liverpool all the way to penalties in the UEFA Super Cup last month, the match balanced at 2-2 after 120 minutes.

"They play exciting football," was Klopp's pre-match verdict

"They played a different system in the last two games to the first few games.

"They changed the system in a very busy period of the year, that’s interesting; of course, he has the players for it.

“A really exciting football team – young but good, really good.

"For me, it’s not a surprise. I said it before – and people probably think I only said it because I’m polite – but it's not polite, it's the truth, he [Lampard] did an outstanding job at Derby.

"So I'm not surprised that he’s doing a really good job at Chelsea as well.

"But it's a difficult league and we have to prove our quality pretty much in a three-day rhythm.

"Sometimes it works out and sometimes not, we know that as well. I really think he's a really, really good manager."

'We collect wins, not clean sheets'

Chelsea will be hopeful of causing problems for a Liverpool defence that has found it difficult to rediscover its standard-setting 2018/19 form.

The Reds, who boasted the best defensive record in the division las term, have managed just a single clean sheet from eight games across three competitions.

Klopp insists this is not the result of a tactical change, but played down the importance of shutouts. 

"There is no difference," he said. "We didn't focus more on offensive things and forget the defensive things.

"The goals happened completely strangely; there would have been a second clean sheet against Southampton if we don't concede that goal [goalkeeper Adrian struck the ball straight at the onrushing Danny Ings], there could have been different clean sheets in other games.

"Of course it's not exactly what we wanted but we don’t collect clean sheets. We want to win football games and we are still early in the season.

"We have to improve and develop and that's what we want to do.

"But it's not because we have a different approach to last year."

Latest on Alisson, Keita and Origi

The Reds' clean sheet tally could be boosted by the upcoming return of no. 1 'keeper Alisson Becker, said to be making 'big progress' in recovering from the calf injury he picked up in Liverpool's season-opener against Norwich City.

Naby Keita, meanwhile, is back in team training after overcoming a hip problem sustained prior to the Super Cup and could get minutes against MK Dons in the Carabao Cup

Divock Origi hurt his ankle against Newcastle United last weekend and though the injury is not serious, he is 'unlikely' to feature against Chelsea.

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