Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Frank Lampard’s youthful Chelsea side remind him of his Borussia Dortmund team.
Klopp built a young team in Dortmund, including Mario Gotze, Nuri Sahin, Shinji Kagawa and Robert Lewandowski, which went on to lift the Bundesliga in consecutive seasons, as well as the DFB Pokal in 2012. Chelsea head coach Lampard has also put his faith in youngsters this season, with academy graduates Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori featuring heavily in the early stages of the campaign.
Klopp, speaking ahead of Sunday’s trip to Chelsea, said: “It’s a really exciting team, it reminds me a little bit of my team at Dortmund years back when they were really young – maybe even younger than this team at Chelsea.
Liverpool injury update
- Naby Keita back in full training on Friday
- Alisson “making big progress”, but not back in full training yet
- Divock Origi unlikely to face Chelsea, but not ruled out
“People were always talking about how young they are, but they only played because they were good. They didn’t play because they were that young.”
‘Mount and Abraham are £60m players’
Lampard has, in part, been forced to utilise Chelsea’s youth products due to their transfer ban, imposed by FIFA following an investigation into their signing of U18 foreign players. Aside from the returning loan players – Abraham from Villa and Mount and Tomori from Derby – Chelsea welcomed Christian Pulisic to the club. He joined in January and was loaned back to Dortmund for six months.
“They brought in Christian Pulisic in the summer, I’m not sure about the money but for around £50-£60m, and all of the players around him now have the same value,” said Klopp. “Tammy Abraham is now a £60m player, Mason Mount is for sure a £60m player, if not more, Callum Hudson-Odoi was that already.
“Jorginho is not that young, but he is not that long in the league, and then [N’Golo] Kante, who looks like he could play for the next 20 years. “They have Mateo Kovacic, Ross Barkley, and then all the experienced guys around them, Pedro, Willian, Olivier Giroud and on the bench Michy Batshuayi.
“If there was one club in the world who a transfer ban didn’t hit that bad, it was probably Chelsea.” Liverpool head to Chelsea with only one away win against top six opposition in their previous 12 attempts. In that time, Manchester City have recorded seven victories and Crystal Palace five.
Asked why they have struggled to win away, Klopp added: “Because they are really good that could be a reason. There are different ways to win away games, we have to find a way to find one. “We go there to get a result, you can’t go to Chelsea and have a guarantee that you are going to win the game, they are just too strong for that.
“I think in 2016, we won against all of the top six and had all of the problems. Now we are much more successful winning all the other games.”