Jürgen Klopp met with the media ahead of Liverpool's matinee matchup with Nottingham Forest Saturday. The boss discussed whether or not he would be on the touchline for the match, the expected atmosphere at City Grounds, and how a tactical change has reversed the Reds' fortunes in recent matches.
The biggest question ahead of the fixture might be whether Klopp will be able to manage Liverpool in the match. He picked up a red card in the win versus Manchester City and must serve a one-match suspension as a result.
“I cannot make any decisions,” Klopp said. “We just follow the process, the completely normal process. In this moment, I expect to be on the bench tomorrow, yes, but I don't know 100 percent.”
Nottingham Forest is the oldest professional football club still in operation (1865) and the City Grounds have been home to Nottingham Forest since 1898. Klopp expects an electric atmosphere inside the venerable ground.
“The atmosphere will be outstanding, I'm 100 percent sure,” Klopp said. “I like that as an experience, to have it as well; because it's one thing to talk about because everybody tells you, and one thing to experience yourself. But of course, when we faced them last time (in FA CUP) they were full of confidence, they were really flying and we felt that. It was a well-trained team, which they still are, but at that moment all the pieces fell in place pretty much. That's different this season but that makes it even more difficult because now the spirit will be at 100 percent, they will fight for everything.”
In recent days, Liverpool have switched to a 4-4-2 tactical formation and it has paid dividends, particularly on defense.
(The change provides) stability, closing gaps we left open the weeks before – not on purpose, it just happened,” Klopp said. “We played for quite a time a specific system in a specific way. And when you get used to things you lose a little bit of the desire for the detail. And because it was so well-tuned, let me say it like this, how we defended, how we pressed, or how we did different things, little things can change a lot. That's why we had to change a big thing and start thinking now about it as a group, and not telling him and telling him, ‘You do differently'. Because it's always a row of different things that happened then.”
Klopp placed an emphasis on the point that Nottingham Forest is a well-trained team, that is going to fight from the opening whistle. While that shot makes for an entertaining contest, especially inside a historic venue like The City Grounds, this may not turn out to be much of a match considering that Liverpool have posted consecutive clean sheets and Nottingham Forest have only scored 7 goals all season. If the gaffer is not on the bench, however, all bets are off and the match could be turned on its head.