Huddersfield head coach David Wagner described good friend Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool as “vulnerable” before the two sides’ Premier League clash at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The Terriers will bid to halt a six-game winless run in the top flight on Tuesday night to ease their relegation fears, while Klopp’s men head to West Yorkshire on the back of two-straight defeats.
“Liverpool have lost two games in a row. They look vulnerable at the minute,” Wagner said. “Does it mean we will be successful? No. Does it mean we have a chance? Absolutely.
“We have in every game, especially here at the John Smith’s Stadium, and if there’s a chance we will be there to grab it with both hands.”
Wagner, best man at Klopp’s wedding, saw his side lose 3-0 at Anfield in October, but said a second Premier League encounter would still be special.
“Yes it is different and he’s special as well,” Wagner said. “We have a friendship and a relationship which is extraordinary, but tomorrow night at 8pm – this doesn’t matter.
“It’s all about Huddersfield against Liverpool and we are both in a situation where we need the points.
“Liverpool can have all the points in the Premier League, but not tomorrow night and for this we will fight for every yard in the stadium to cause them the biggest problem they can ever have.”
Huddersfield’s last top-flight win was at Watford before Christmas, while Liverpool followed up their Premier League defeat at Swansea by losing to West Brom in the FA Cup.
Wary of a backlash, Wagner said he knows Klopp well enough not to expect any surprises on Tuesday night, although he could not rule it out.
“Everybody can surprise everyone,” he said. “Even if I think I know him well enough that there will not be major surprises, which is what I expect – not from the individuals and not from the set-up which he will use.”
Huddersfield have slipped to within two points of the drop zone, but will take solace from their 2-1 win against Manchester United in October – which snapped a similar six-game winless run – and Wagner remains upbeat.
“We expected that this could happen,” he said. “Nothing that we wanted to have, but we have had similar periods and we turned it round because we were focused on ourselves.”
Wagner made seven changes for Saturday’s FA Cup stalemate against Birmingham and is likely to recall the likes of Aaron Mooy, Christopher Schindler, Jonas Lossl and recent signing Alex Pritchard.
Terence Kongolo is expected to overcome a knock sustained on Saturday, but Danny Williams is doubtful after being forced off with a dead leg.
The Terriers’ impressive start to their first season in the Premier League is in danger of unravelling, but Wagner is backing his players to turn it round.
“I’d like to make one thing totally clear,” he added. “I will never question the character of this group.
“I cannot praise the character of my players for two-and-a-half years and now, in a less successful period, question their character. This makes no sense.”
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