Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has warned his players of the unique challenges Leeds United pose unlike no other team in the Premier League.
The two sides meet at Elland Road in Monday in a key clash for the Reds’ hopes of a top-four finish. Both teams served up a classic on the opening day of the season, Klopp’s men winning 4-3 at Anfield. But the Whites have continued to entertain and win plaudits throughout the campaign.
Indeed, their first season back in the top flight since 2003/04 could end with a solid top-half finish.
Speaking in Saturday’s pre-match press conference, Klopp hailed Leeds’ “really unique” talents under boss Marcelo Bielsa.
Asked about his side’s aspirations of qualifying for next season’s Champions League, he told reporters (via the Liverpool Echo): “The way is clear, we have to win football games.
“The best way would be to win all the football games, but they are tough opponents and we really respect that.
“We see the situation we in and we see a positive. We are around, we have to win our games to put pressure on other teams.
“It’s a completely different game. Leeds, in the moment, is probably the most different game in the league. You can compare a few teams with each other, some play this some play that.
“But Leeds is really special and so for that we have to be ready.”
Leeds are looking to win four league games in a row, with their most recent win the most spectacular in their run.
Bielsa’s men beat Manchester City 2-1, despite having 10 men for a large period of the game.
Klopp said that he watched the game and was surprised at how Leeds managed to counter-attack despite their numerical disadvantage.
Klopp loves Leeds style
“Man City played against 10 men of Leeds. That’s not exactly the way Leeds usually plays. They played an exceptional game from a passion point of view,” Klopp added.
“From a tactical point of view, there’s not a lot to take from the game. You see their character, they never gave up, they fought as hard as they could, worked their socks off.
“And they still had counter-attacks. A lot of teams don’t have counter-attacks against City with 11 men, but they had it with 10 and scored a late winner.
“I watched the game as well and it was really exciting to see what is possible in football.”
Liverpool‘s last Premier League trip to Elland Road saw them draw 2-2 in February 2004.