by Olivia Vincent (@JotaBelieveIt)
Managers Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti come face to face for the ninth time this Saturday.
With just a cursory glance at the head-to-head stats, it’s clear to see that Ancelotti often has the bragging rights. It’s a fierce rivalry, but one based on mutual respect.
In the past, Ancelotti faced and beat Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund side in the 2013/14 season as Real Madrid manager. Ancelotti also managed Napoli, who the Reds were drawn against in successive Champions League seasons. Liverpool won once and lost twice. The intimidating Stadio San Paolo caused Klopp’s side the most challenges and they struggled to create anything.
Since Ancelotti’s appointment last season, the Italian has seen his side lose one and draw one in the Merseyside Derby. The loss most notably came against a youthful Liverpool side where academy prospect, now first team regular, Curtis Jones, scored a curled effort as the only goal of the game in an FA Cup tie.
With the summer transfer recruits and a perfect start to the Premier League campaign, Ancelotti will feel this is their best chance of getting a historic win. However, Liverpool will be out for redemption after an embarrassing 7-2 loss to Aston Villa. Klopp will be hoping for a response from his team to make sure that game was just a ‘blip’. Having sat out the Aston Villa drubbing due to COVID-19, both Thiago and Mane should return to the match-day squad .
Saturday’s lunch time encounter has all the ingredients to be an enthralling match with two well set up sides going toe to toe. Another chance for Klopp and Ancelotti to meet again in the dug-out in one of the biggest rivalries in football. Will blue versus red come to a head in a match to remember?