Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted that his side will employ a different style of play rather than emulate Arsenal's possession game when the Reds take on the Gunners on Wednesday (13 January). The German manager, despite wanting to play the similar style, is aware that it could be detrimental to his team's prospects of earning all three points on the night and is confident that he can come up with a plan to stop the Emirates Stadium outfit.
The north London club are currently on top of the Premier League table, two points ahead of Leicester City and 12 points ahead of the Merseyside club, who are in the eighth place. Arsene Wenger is known to favour the possession game, and has been criticised for persisting with it as well in recent seasons. The Frenchman, however, has shown a shift in thought and since the second-half of last season, begun to play on the counter-attack against teams, who are as strong in possession. The game against Bayern Munich in the Champions League this season comes to mind, when Arsenal had just 27% of the possession during the game but came out 2-0 winners.
"Arsenal and Arsène have their own style. It's possession football, so it's clear that, if we want to play the same way, we will be without a chance because they've been doing it for longer," Klopp said, as quoted by the Guardian.
"Arsenal are not only a good possession team. That's the problem. They have good counterattacks, too, and that's what you have to be aware of. It's a job but it's a really nice job to think about solutions and how to stop them coming through with their plan. I like things like this."
"It is always a big challenge to play these clubs but, if we showed something in these last weeks, it is that we have something like a plan against good football teams," the German added.
The 48-year-old Reds manager also reserved high praise for his Arsenal counterpart, who is celebrating 20 years in-charge of the Gunners this year. Klopp believes it is a tremendous achievement given the high pressure nature of the Premier League.
"It is an absolutely amazing achievement and my respect grows day by day because it's really intensive in the Premier League, especially with a team with international matches too."
"My respect has grown since I'm here. He's done a brilliant job, one of the best managers in the world. It's rare to do this over such a long period. It's always a challenge to play against him and it is a challenge I'm looking forward to," the former Borussia Dortmund coach explained.