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Klopp expects warm reception for Rodgers on Anfield return

Friday October 4 2019

Leicester City's Northern Irish manager Brendan Rodgers applauds the fans following their English Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at King Power Stadium on September 21, 2019. PHOTO | LINDSEY PARNABY |

Leicester City's Northern Irish manager Brendan Rodgers applauds the fans following their English Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at King Power Stadium on September 21, 2019. PHOTO | LINDSEY PARNABY |  AFP

LONDON

Jurgen Klopp believes Brendan Rodgers will receive a warm welcome on his first return to Anfield as an opposition manager but is warning that Leicester will ensure it is "not a friendly game".

Almost four years to the day since being sacked by Liverpool, the Northern Irishman will bring his high-flying Foxes to Merseyside for a top-of-the-table encounter.

"The reception will be good, from my side and from the supporters I think as well, but still it is not a friendly game and that's what we want to make sure," the Liverpool boss said at his pre-match conference on Friday.

"We are there to perform as well and hopefully that's what we will do."

Leicester head into the weekend after a 5-0 victory over Newcastle United at the King Power Stadium last Sunday.

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Liverpool are top of the table with a perfect seven wins out of seven Premier League matches this season and are on a winning run of 16 consecutive league matches.

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Klopp praised former Celtic boss Rodgers for the job he was doing at Leicester, who are third in the Premier League table, seven points behind Liverpool.

Asked whether the Foxes had the potential to challenge for a spot in the top four, Klopp replied: "It looks like, 100 per cent. It looks like. There is no difference to other top-six teams apart from maybe the name."

"Of course, it is not forbidden to show up in the top four," he added. "There are no reservations made and everyone who is ready for that will fight for it. And they will fight for it until the end."

If Liverpool are to extend their winning run, Klopp knows nullifying the threat of Jamie Vardy could be key.

The striker has scored seven times in nine appearances against the Reds and already has five in the Premier League so far this season for Leicester.

"In general he is an incredible player, for years already, and if he gets the service he will be a proper threat and we have to make sure that will not happen that often. It works in the first place to avoid these passes," said Klopp.

"We know about his speed obviously, but it is more about timing, so we need to be in the right place at the right moment to defend him. There is no alternative to that."

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