Jürgen Klopp has assured the he and his team will learn from Wednesday night’s defeat at Anfield and will be ready to take on Sarri-ball from minute one in Saturday’s rematch at Stamford Bridge.
While technically it will be different competition (Premier League instead of Carabao Cup) and there will be plenty of rotation (both managers made eight changes to their lineups yesterday), Klopp believes he now better understands how Sarri’s system works and thus, how he can beat it.
“It was a difficult start for us because of the specific things Chelsea’s doing. We needed time to adapt to their new formation. But we did better and better and even when were not ready for it, we had the better chances already [but] in these situations, pretty much each yard is decisive; it’s quite difficult. They played a lot between the lines and they did well. We needed a bit of time ... and when we got used to it, we lost the game!
“Now the good thing is, we know much more now what will happen on Saturday because we’ve felt it. So we will use the two days to prepare. [...] They did really well, but we can do better and now we know more. For us, it’s always helpful if we really know exactly what to do. I think we were well prepared [today], but the game helped massively. Minute-by-minute we understood what exactly happens.”
Fortunately for us, Klopp only has two days to prepare before the late afternoon kick-off on Saturday. But yesterday’s contest was already a game of inches — big misses from Sturridge and Morata come to mind; VAR calling Barkley level with Firmino; etc. — so every little bit of knowledge, skill, and luck will matter. Both teams will be running more familiar lineups, too, which will add yet another factor.
Wednesday’s win may not have direct impact on Saturday’s result, but tactically, emotionally, motivationally, it will play a big role. Confidence should be on Chelsea’s side however, so onwards and upwards!