Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Wagner sees chance to pile woe on friend Klopp's wounded Reds

By Mark Walker

Huddersfield head coach David Wagner described good friend Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool as "vulnerable" before the two sides' Premier League clash at the John Smith's Stadium.

The Terriers will bid to halt a six-game winless run in the top flight tonight to ease their relegation fears, while Klopp's men head to West Yorkshire on the back of two straight defeats.

"Liverpool have lost two in a row. They look vulnerable," Wagner said. "Does it mean we will be successful? No. Does it mean we have a chance? Absolutely.

"We have in every game, especially here at the John Smith's Stadium, and if there's a chance we will grab it with both hands."

Wagner, best man at Klopp's wedding, saw his side lose 3-0 at Anfield in October, but said a second Premier League encounter would still be special.

"Yes it is different and he's special as well," Wagner said. "We have a friendship and a relationship which is extraordinary, but tomorrow at 8pm this doesn't matter. It's all about Huddersfield against Liverpool and we both need the points.

"Liverpool can have all the points in the Premier League, but not tomorrow night and for this we will fight to cause them the biggest problem they have."

Huddersfield's last top-flight win was at Watford before Christmas, while Liverpool followed up their Premier League defeat at Swansea by losing to West Brom in the FA Cup.

Wary of a backlash, Wagner said he knows Klopp well enough not to expect surprises, although could not rule it out.

"Everybody can surprise everyone," he said. "Even if I think I know him well enough that there will not be major surprises, which is what I expect - not from the individuals and not from the set-up he will use."

Huddersfield have slipped to within two points of the drop zone, but will take solace from their 2-1 win against Manchester United in October and Wagner remains upbeat.

"We expected this could happen," he said. "We have had similar periods and we turned it round because we were focused on ourselves."

Wagner made seven changes for Saturday's FA Cup stalemate against Birmingham and is likely to recall Aaron Mooy, Christopher Schindler, Jonas Lossl and recent signing Alex Pritchard.

The Terriers' impressive start to their first season in the Premier League is in danger of unravelling, but Wagner is backing his players to turn it round.

"I will never question the character of this group," he added. "I cannot praise my players for two and a half years and now question their character."

Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge last night joined West Brom on loan for the rest of the season.

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph