Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Klopp reflects on ´special´ Liverpool stint as tenure draws to a close

SoccerNews in English Premier League 18 May 2024

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Jurgen Klopp reflected on his “special” stint in charge of Liverpool ahead of his final game on Sunday.

Klopp will manage Liverpool for the last time when the Reds take on Wolves in their final Premier League match of the season.

Having taken over in 2015, Klopp has led Liverpool to their maiden Premier League title, a Champions League crown, the FA Cup, multiple EFL Cups, as well as the Super Cup and Club World Cup titles.

While this season’s Premier League title challenge ultimately fizzled out, Klopp used his programme notes to laud his players and staff for their efforts.

He wrote: “If space allowed I could write name after name of people who I need to thank but there has never been a match programme of this size, so I will have to be more general. I could not be more appreciative of the players past and present who have served this club in the nine years that I have been here.

“What they have achieved in that time is special, not just in terms of the moments they have created and the success they have had, but also in the way they have underlined what it is to represent LFC.

“This will be the final time that we will see two of them – Joel Matip and Thiago Alcantara – at Anfield and I know they will be given the send-off that they deserve.

“You do not need me to tell you what they have achieved as individuals, you have experienced it all at first hand and as with others who have left us in recent seasons, they have more than made their mark on this club during a period which I think has been memorable for all of us.

“This will also be the end of an era for several members of our coaching and backroom staff who will also move on. To put it simply, I could not have more appreciation for the work that has been done by Pep Lijnders, Peter Krawietz, Vitor Matos, John Achterberg, Jack Robinson, Andreas Kornmayer, Andreas Schlumberger and Ray Haughan.

“The big positive for Liverpool is that no matter who is leaving, the club is still in a very, very good place. This season we aimed for the moon and ended up in the stars which is never too bad and the players and staff who are remaining are top, top class.

“Yes, they will have new leadership before too long but this is a club that is ready to take the journey in a new and exciting direction, not one that is ready for the journey to come to an end.”

Feyenoord coach Arne Slot confirmed on Friday that he would be replacing Klopp.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Liverpool – Mohamed Salah

Salah is set to make his 250th Premier League appearance for Liverpool in this match. The Egyptian already has the second-highest combined goals and assists tally by any player in their first 250 appearances for a single club in the competition (223 – 155 goals, 68 assists), behind only Thierry Henry for Arsenal (243 – 171 goals, 72 assists).

Wolves – Hwang Hee-chan

No Wolves player has scored more Premier League goals this season than Hwang Hee-chan (12). He gave his side the lead in the reverse fixture against Liverpool at Molineux – the last Wolves player to score home and away against the Reds in a league campaign was John Richards in 1972-73.

MATCH PREDICTION: LIVERPOOL WIN

Liverpool have conceded at least once in each of their last 10 Premier League home games. They last had a longer run without a league clean sheet at home between January and November 1954, a run of 17 games that included relegation to the second division.

Between Christmas Eve and March 9, only the current top three sides earned more points in the Premier League than Wolves (22 – W7 D1 L3). Since then, only Sheffield United (two) have won fewer points than Gary O’Neil’s side (five), with Wolves winning just one of their last nine (D2 L6).

Wolves have lost eight and won just one of their nine Premier League games on MD38. Their win rate of 11 per cent on the final day is the lowest of any side currently in the competition, while their current run of losing seven consecutive such games is the joint-longest in English top-flight history.

Liverpool have won 13 of their last 14 Premier League meetings with Wolves, with the exception being a 3-0 loss at Molineux in February last season.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Liverpool – 65.6%

Wolves – 12.7%

Draw – 21.7%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

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