Premier League • England

Klopp points out major reason why Liverpool v Everton far from ‘normal’

Neil Foster
Jurgen Klopp being interviewed in the rain

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is not a fan of the ‘intensity’ of the Merseyside derby and hopes Wednesday’s clash with Everton is a ‘good football game’.

The Reds will travel to Goodison Park to take on their city rivals on Wednesday evening. The Merseyside duo have enjoyed contrasting fortunes this term. Liverpool’s 4-0 thrashing of Southampton on Saturday saw the Anfield giants move up to second in the table.

Manchester City’s 2-1 success over West Ham United pushed them down to third but they are still challenging for the title.

The Toffees have slumped to 14th with defeat to Brentford on Sunday. However, form will count for nothing when the latest chapter in one of the oldest rivalries in football begins.

Last season’s derby saw both Virgil van Dijk and Thiago pick up serious injuries. Their absence led to a slump which saw the north-west giants almost miss out on the top four.

Battle lines are set to be drawn in midweek but Klopp will be glad when it is all over.

“It’s always a completely different game, so I really very often don’t like the intensity of the game, it’s too much for me,” he told Sky Sports.

Klopp was speaking after Liverpool took care of Porto 2-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday evening. The victory meant they have won all five of their group games in Europe’s elite club competition this term.

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He added to his concerns about the derby following his side’s 4-0 triumph over Saints.

“I like physical football, I have no problem with that, we play that, other teams play that, but in that game very often people put too much in,” he told reporters.

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“I can’t say it’s my favourite game of the year to be honest, because of that. But we have the chance to watch Everton tomorrow, we will prepare for the game and will try to make a normal but good football game.”

Klopp hails ‘perfect’ Thiago

Thiago has played just a peripheral role this season, with four starts among seven Premier League outings.

The Spain international scored his first top-flight goal of the campaign against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side. And Klopp left nobody in any doubt as to what he thinks of the former Bayern Munich midfielder.

“Exceptional player exceptional boy. He’s the perfect signing because he has everything that a Liverpool player needs in this squad,” he added. “The technical skills, the physical skills, and he is very smart and can learn all the tactical stuff pretty quick. He can also play all positions.

Thiago Liverpool Porto November 2021

“So it was very helpful, he has the speed and direction to finish situations off. His goalscoring record is pretty impressive.”

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