(Reuters) - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp believes that Saturday’s Premier League clash with Manchester United is not a battle of playing styles and said he would have no problem ‘parking the bus’ to stop United’s attack.
Attack-minded Liverpool have blown away teams this season with their free-flowing style of play while United have often been criticised for being uncharacteristically defensive and pragmatic under Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho.
Klopp said the blockbuster Old Trafford meeting between the two teams who are fighting for second place behind runaway leaders Manchester City did not represent a clash of philosophies.
“It’s not a battle of systems or philosophies, but two very good football teams that will face each other,” Klopp told a news conference on Friday.
“I know how the situation is, people are saying that they play a specific kind of football and we play a specific kind of football... everybody makes a big thing of it but it’s all about winning. There are different ways to win a football game.”
The German manager said he would not hesitate switching to a more defensive approach to stop United’s front line.
“When United attack, I hope all my players are involved in defending. If somebody says in that moment that we are parking the bus then I have no problem with that... I would never use that (phrase). I have no problem with defending.”
A win for third-placed Liverpool will take them to 63 points and a point above United into second. Klopp said his team did not need any more reasons to understand the game’s importance.
“It’s the biggest game I can imagine. We are looking forward to it. It’s a good moment to go there but it’s an unbelievably difficult moment too. United have outstanding quality... very experienced team and manager so quite a job to do,” he said.
“The big rivalry is since ages but in the last few years United have been more successful than us, that’s the truth... there are reasons they have two points more than us. We don’t want to show how good we are, we want to have a result.”
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar