Liverpool receive Thomas Tuchel warning as Jurgen Klopp prepares for Chelsea clash | Football | Sport


Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin has told Liverpool to expect ‘a dose of their own medicine’ when the Blues travel to Anfield on Thursday evening, with Thomas Tuchel having implemented a watertight, high-pressing game since replacing Frank Lampard at the helm. Both clubs face a tough battle to retain their top-four status at the end of the season, with fifth-placed Chelsea currently edging the Reds by a single point in the Premier League table.

Tuchel has avoided defeat in each of his first seven matches in charge, conceding just twice throughout the entirety of his short reign in west London.

The German manager’s success has largely been the result of a revamped style of play, reintroducing the back three that was so effective under former boss Antonio Conte.

Chelsea’s high-tempo approach when out of possession has also worked wonders in shutting out opponents, with Nevin expecting a similar showing against Liverpool, who have struggled in front of goal as of late.

The 57-year-old told the Chelsea website that Tuchel’s ability to rotate the squad without losing too much strength suggests that the Blues can press with aggression and burn lots of energy in each and every game, without being forced to change their plans as a result of fatigue.

“I suspect we will get at Liverpool exactly the same way we have closed down everyone else since TT’s arrival,” said Nevin.

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“The energy is still there but something much more important is also available: vast reserves of energy on the bench and in the rest of the squad.

“What Klopp would have given to be able to rest his top players a little more. Had he been able to do that then he could have continued his favoured style, but the squad depth, and quality in that depth, just hasn’t been quite enough for him this season.

“In contrast, Chelsea fans are acutely aware that we could put out one XI on the Saturday and a different XI three days later, and the quality would be virtually the same.

“If you can make that number of changes and rest that many players, then you can play this high-tempo style. Everyone has to buy into it, however.


“That was the message sent the other week via Callum Hudson-Odoi [at Southampton]. CHO’s reaction has been superb. Quite simply, he and everyone else seem to understand the expectations now.

“Liverpool can expect the same and it will be interesting to see how they cope with a dose of their own medicine.

“Tuchel v Klopp could end up being one of the great rivalries in the Premier League over the next few years, and this first instalment is unmissable.”

Liverpool won the reverse fixture with ease in September, coasting to a 2-0 win to deliver an early blow to Chelsea’s hopes of mounting a Premier League title challenge this season.

The Blues were the division’s biggest spenders over the summer, splashing a cool £222million on a number of new additions including the likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Edouard Mendy.

Although the club still have a considerable amount of work to do in order to seal Champions League football for next season, Tuchel is confident that it can be done.

He claimed after the goalless draw with Manchester United on Sunday that his side stand every chance of achieving their goal as they are becoming extremely difficult for opponents to break down.

“We are in the middle of a battle to the top four,” Tuchel told reporters. “We have closed the gap quickly and now is the moment to hang in and to show performances every three or four days.

“I feel the team is very competitive and difficult to play against. We will be able to win games. We are still in the battle and that’s the good news.”

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