Head-To-Head: Pep Guardiola vs Jurgen Klopp

Chloe Beresford by Chloe Beresford / 07 September 2017, 15:21

Second meets fourth in the Premier League on Saturday lunchtime as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City host Liverpool, spearheaded by Jurgen Klopp. After the opening three matches, the Merseyside outfit are ahead of their rivals only by goal difference, both sides having earned seven points so far.

It has been a highly-anticipated clash since Guardiola moved to the Premier League ahead of the 2016/17 campaign, and the forthcoming encounter will be no different. Those fascinating tactical battles ended in a 1-0 win for the Reds back in December, with the return fixture a 1-1 draw.

"It was really hard work," said Klopp after the victory last year. "But it was not that we were expecting something different. Against Man City, you have to work for three points. If you are good enough, you can get them - and we were good enough."

The pair do share a mutual respect though, the German having defended his counterpart in the press after receiving criticism for his first year in England. “We really have to compare the squads,” he told the Independent. “A team without Messi or with Messi? Come on. A team with Iniesta or without Iniesta? A team with Xavi at his best or without? That’s the difference.”

Even a touchline squabble between the pair back in March was diffused with a comical high-five in the end, but the Catalan maestro will undoubtedly be looking to earn his share of the spoils this time around. Of course last season was not the first time the two had met, Klopp having previously been in charge at Borussia Dortmund, whilst Guardiola took the reigns at Bayern.

Their first meeting was the latter’s competitive debut in Germany, with Dortmund coming out the victors in a 3-0 German Super Cup win. The league fixtures between them would end up with both sides enjoying a 3-0 victory, however Dortmund achieved their victory after their adversaries had already wrapped up the Bundesliga title. After that spoils would remain even, the Coaches having accumulated four victories each over two seasons.

Guardiola may have eventually followed Klopp to English shores, but his philosophy of keeping the ball remains the same. Indeed, Manchester City have recorded an impressive average possession rate of at least 55% in all 40 of the 46-year-old boss’ matches in the Premier League so far. The Blues have a largely new backline, but the Coach will still expect full-backs Benjamin Mendy, Danilo and Kyle Walker to get forward whilst providing solid defensive cover, in keeping with his usual style.

City have alternated between a 4-3-3 and a 3-4-1-2 this season, however Liverpool have stuck with a solid 4-3-3. Mohamed Salah will provide lightening pace in Klopp’s setup that focusses on counter-pressing. The Coach places huge importance on his central midfielders to provide balance, meaning that Henderson and Can will need to learn to think about both phases of the game at all times. His trio of attackers behind the central striker must not drop too deep, otherwise the whole system will collapse. While the German boss demands much from those in advanced roles, he also expects his backline to remain tight, organised and aggressive, a vital component in the quest to take the points on Saturday.

Both will have one eye on Champions League group fixtures that will take place in the middle of the following week, Liverpool hosting Sevilla and Manchester City travelling to Feyenoord. It is far too early to speak of genuine pressure for either boss, but - particularly for Guardiola after he finished 2016/17 empty-handed - winning this Saturday’s match would make a big statement of intent for the rest of the campaign.

sackrace
x
Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets
Exclusive Promo Code
C30
JOIN NOW
New William Hill online customers only. Min. unit stake of £10 at odds of 1/2 or greater. Only the 'win' part from EW bets will count. Free bet terms, payment method & country restrictions apply. Free bets credited as 3 x £10. Free bet stakes are not returned as part of the settlement of successful free bets. All Free Bets must be wagered within 30 days. T&C's apply, 18+ begambleaware.org
x
Up to £100 in bet credits
Exclusive Promo Code
100BET365
JOIN NOW
Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5 and 1x settled bet requirement to release Bet Credits. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&C's apply, 18+ begambleaware.org.
x
Bet £10 Get £30
Exclusive Promo Code
30f
JOIN NOW
New customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. General deposit method & withdrawal restrictions apply & full T&Cs apply.
x
Bet £20 & Get £20
Exclusive Promo Code
SPORTS20
JOIN NOW
Select 'Use a promo code' in the drop-down list in the Cashier and enter SPORTS20. Deposit £20 or more. An extra £20 will be credited immediately. The deposit and bonus must be wagered 1x onSports at 1/2 (1.5) odds or higher. General bonus terms apply. This offer expires 31 May 23:59. T&C's apply, 18+ begambleaware.org.
Next in firing line Hottest Manager Markets

Premier League

Next Manager to Leave

Arsenal

Next Manager

Barcelona

Next Manager

Bayern Munich

Next Manager

England

Next Manager

Liverpool

Next Manager

Manchester United

Next Manager

Sheffield Wednesday

Next Manager
x
See the latest Manager Odds - £20 Risk Free First bet
New Customers Only Limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your FIRST bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is  £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. Paddy's Rewards Club: Get a  £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of  £10+. T&C's apply, 18+ begambleaware.org.
BET HERE