Thursday, May 6, 2021

Klopp´s 300th Liverpool game comes amid fading title defence

SoccerNews in English Premier League 12 Feb 2021

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Jurgen Klopp will take charge of his 300th Liverpool game when the Premier League champions head to Leicester City on Saturday.

The German has brought the glory days back to Anfield since replacing Brendan Rodgers in 2015, winning the Champions League in 2018-19 before ending a 30-year wait for a top-flight title last season.

However, injury problems have contributed to a dip in form this term and they trail Manchester City by 10 points, leaving Klopp in a less celebratory mood than he might have been ahead of his landmark.

“First and foremost it doesn’t feel like [I’m approaching my 300th game] in this moment, I can tell you,” he said ahead of his meeting with Rodgers’ side this weekend.

“It’s not really important. It’s something that when I’m not here any more I will think about the time I had here.

“I know that my job is still the present and the future, and not the past. Game number 300 is very important to me, and games one to 299 not a little bit at this moment.

“We know that we are not completely clueless or whatever, but we know that we have to be successful in the future and that’s what we try.

“I don’t get the noise around the results…but I know what the situation is and I talk about results in general.

“Even though I know the reason why we are not flying, I expect us to win more football games than we did to be honest, and that’s what I’m concerned about.”

While the Reds’ title defence may be crumbling under immense pressure from City, Klopp’s record still makes for impressive reading.

In his 299 games to date, the 53-year-old has won 177, with only Kenny Dalglish (185) having claimed more victories at the same stage of his reign.

His win percentage stands at a club-record 59.2, putting him above the likes of Bill Shankly (51.9) and Bob Paisley (57.4), with Liverpool having scored 614 goals under his charge, conceding 308.

Klopp will need to stick around on Merseyside for quite some time if he wants to rack up the highest number of wins, with Shankly having triumphed 415 times from his 799 matches.

His top priority will be aiming to respond to the setback of suffering consecutive defeats for the first time in his tenure, having been beaten by Brighton and Hove Albion before losing to Pep Guardiola’s in-form side.

The last man to oversee three losses on the bounce for Liverpool was Foxes boss Rodgers, with Klopp’s predecessor having achieved a 50 per cent win ratio at the club.

History weighs heavily against Rodgers piling the misery on Klopp, with managers who have previously been in charge of Liverpool having lost their last 12 Premier League matches against the Reds by an aggregate score of 39-8.

The last former Liverpool boss to win against them in the Premier League was Roy Hodgson with West Brom back in 2012.

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