Jurgen Klopp will be happy if he is accused of parking the bus when Liverpool visit Manchester United, provided his team earn a positive result at Old Trafford.
Saturday’s game is about much more than just pride and bragging rights, as second-placed United sit two points clear of their opponents in the Premier League table.
Their last meeting admittedly failed to catch fire at Anfield, with United boss Jose Mourinho criticised for his defensive tactics during the forgettable 0-0 draw last October.
Klopp expects the hosts to be more aggressive in the reverse fixture, even if they do have a “specific way of playing football” under their Portuguese coach.
“I’ve no problem with defending – I know how the situation is, that teams play a specific type of football, but it’s all about winning and there are different ways to win football games,” he said at his pre-match press conference.
“In the last few years Manchester United have been more successful than us. We respect that, and this United team has a specific way of playing football.
“If we have to defend there, we have to do so with all we have. It’s not a battle of systems or philosophies – just two very good teams facing each other.
“When they attack, I hope all my players are involved. If people want to say that’s parking the bus, I’m okay with that.
“There are reasons they have two more points than us. We don’t want to show how good we are, we just want a good result.”
Klopp on @ManUtd clash: ‘It’s the biggest game I can imagine’
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 9, 2018
Liverpool have kept four clean sheets in their last five outings in all competitions, with the 0-0 home draw against Porto in midweek securing a place in the last eight of the Champions League.
Yet Klopp acknowledges the size of the task his side face against opponents who have only lost once at home – and that was against champions-elect Manchester City – this season.
“You have to bring the right things on the pitch constantly. Counter-pressing against such a strong counter-attacking team is so important,” the German added.
“We have to play football against a very strong side. If they defend deep it won’t make our life easier, but I don’t think they will do that all the time.
“It’s not an attacking team against a defending team. They have massive quality and I respect that.
“It’s a good moment to go there, but it’s still unbelievably difficult. They have outstanding quality and are at home, they’re a very experienced team with a very experienced manager.”
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