Monday, March 27, 2017

Klopp has no Russia hangover fears for Palace clash

SoccerNews in English Premier League 7 Nov 2015

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Jurgen Klopp will not use Liverpool’s lengthy Europa League trip to Rubin Kazan as an excuse should his side fail to fire against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Jordon Ibe’s goal handed the Merseyside club a 1-0 win in Russia on Thursday as they completed a round-trip of more than 4,000 miles.

But Klopp – who also offered a brief acknowledgement of predecessor Brendan Rodgers’ work at Anfield – does not fear any repercussions from his squad’s exertions as they return to Premier League action.

“If we had traveled by train or by car it would be a problem, but we traveled by plane and slept the whole way back. Not a problem,” the German said on Saturday.

“Of course it’s better if you don’t play midweek, but it’s only an advantage for Palace if we are not prepared to fight. If we wait for an easy game against Palace then we have no chance.

“But if we fight and try to find solutions, we can do it. We are fit, we are healthy, young, and we can do it.”

Philippe Coutinho is fit to play after being left on the bench in Kazan, while Adam Lallana is also available having been rested.

Whatever changes Klopp opts to make for a fixture that Liverpool lost 3-1 in last season’s final home match, the 48-year-old has faith his players will deliver thanks, in part, to Rodgers.

He added: “I didn’t have to teach the players how to play football. Brendan’s work had done that.

“Crystal Palace is difficult to play. They’re really tall and you have to play special. We know about their transition game, their plan, and we try to be prepared.

“It’s not a big difference, because we played against Chelsea who were very organised and deep and we played against Kazan, too.

“If we have the ball, Palace will do something similar.”

Liverpool have won three in a row in all competitions and have not lost since September’s 3-1 reverse to Manchester United.

However, Palace completed a top-flight double over Liverpool last season and famously came from three goals down to gain a 3-3 draw at Selhurst Park in 2014.

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