Jurgen Klopp believes the achievements of Sean Dyche at Burnley should be viewed through the same lens as those enjoyed by Pep Guardiola’s record-breaking Manchester City.
Runaway leaders City have set a new benchmark for consecutive Premier League wins while thrilling onlookers with their attacking football this season.
Burnley’s approach has been typically more pragmatic, but they remain within in touching distance of English football’s ‘Big Six’ with more than half of the season played.
“Fantastic, really outstanding,” was Klopp’s summary of Burnley’s campaign thus far when asked about Monday’s opponents.
“I know how difficult it is to swim with the big fishes in the league and obviously they swim quite well.
“It’s just a nice story. Each year creates another story and this year it’s the Burnley story.”
The Clarets were unlucky not to take more than a point from their clash with Huddersfield on Saturday, as Jeff Hendrick was denied a penalty in a 0-0 draw.
Terriers boss David Wagner – Klopp’s Best Man when he got married – was effusive in his praise of Sean Dyche’s side after that game, although whether he is the ‘Dave’ who has also been warning Klopp about the pedigree of his next opponents is unclear.
“My friend Dave said it [Burnley’s achievements this season] is to compare with what Pep is doing at City,” added Klopp, whose own side came from behind to beat Leicester on Saturday with Mo Salah to the fore. “That’s an outstanding season and Burnley and Sean Dyche is doing exactly the same under completely different circumstances, so I really respect that and appreciate that.”
“It’s not a friendly game for us, it’s a very important game for us. It’s three points to get against a very strong side in an outstanding good moment in the league.
“They’re really good, organised, it’s difficult,” continued the German, who believes an early goal could be crucial. “You can see in their last few games, Tottenham were 1-0 up early and it changed the whole game, there were spaces all over the pitch [Spurs went on to win 3-0].
“Against other teams, like [Manchester] United, they are 2-0 up and you have no space for anything and you run against a wall. So, it will be quite interesting but we will be ready.”
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