Jurgen Klopp And Thomas Tuchel Have Faced Each Other 15 Times Over The Years

Pep Guardiola has won nine league titles across three countries and has twice lifted the Champions League. Marcelo Bielsa’s coaching career has lasted over 30 years, taking in four of Europe’s big five leagues as well as international football.

Rafa Benitez won two La Liga titles and the UEFA Cup with Valencia and made Liverpool European champions. The list goes on, and two of the very best managers in the world will clash at Anfield on Saturday evening when the Reds host Chelsea in what could prove to be a vital match in the 2021/22 title race.

Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel’s relationship goes back a long way. It even has a hint of ‘master and apprentice’ about it, as the latter managed both Mainz and Dortmund after the former had made his name with those clubs.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Klopp has reminisced about the first time he saw a Tuchel team. It was in the final of Germany’s under-19 competition back in 2009, when the current Chelsea boss oversaw Mainz’ youth team.

“He won the final and then a few weeks later he was the manager of the first team and did an exceptional job,” Klopp said.

He certainly did well. In five years with Mainz, Tuchel guided them to three top half finishes, including their best ever placing of fifth in 2010/11

But he didn’t have a great record against Klopp’s Dortmund. Mainz did take four points from them in Tuchel’s first season in charge, but in the four years which followed BVB picked up seven wins and a draw from the eight meetings.

The two elite coaches have clashed five times since, and these will be better known to Kopites as they all occurred after Klopp had taken charge of Liverpool in October 2015.

When Liverpool drew 1-1 at Signal Iduna Park in the first leg of a Europa League quarter-final tie in 2016, nobody could have predicted what would happen in the return match.

Or perhaps they could have. Liverpool’s European history is littered with remarkable comebacks and glorious nights at Anfield, so only a fool would have written the Reds off entirely, even when they appeared to be dead and buried.

When Marco Reus put the visitors 3-1 up in the 57 th minute, Tuchel understandably looked delighted on the touchline. Liverpool couldn’t score three goals without reply, could they?

A long-range effort from Phillipe Coutinho, a stooping header from Mamadou Sakho and a back post header from Dejan Lovren in added time showed that they absolutely could.

“It was not logical,” Tuchel said after the match. “I can give you a description, but not an explanation.”

While not quite as important, the next meeting of Germany’s top two coaches ended in similarly dramatic fashion. Tuchel took charge of Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2018 and brought his side to Liverpool for the opening game in the Champions League group stage.

The Reds led 2-0 through a Daniel Sturridge header and a penalty from James Milner, before PSG fought back with goals from Thomas Meunier and Kylian Mbappe. Whatever happened to him?

Having equalised with seven minutes to go, the visitors probably thought they’d earned a point, but Roberto Firmino scored in the 92nd minute to inflict the first defeat of Tuchel’s reign with the Parisiens.

They got their revenge in the return fixture, though, winning 2-1 thanks to goals from Juan Bernat and Neymar. Both sides made it to the knockout phase, but where PSG fell to Manchester United at the first hurdle, Liverpool went all the way and became champions of Europe for a sixth time.

And so, to last season when Tuchel bought his new Chelsea side to a deserted Anfield and left with a 1-0 victory, thanks to Mason Mount’s goal.

With no supporters present and Klopp deploying his 19th different central defensive partnership of the season – Fabinho and Ozan Kabak – it was perhaps inevitable that Liverpool struggled that night.

Going into the game on Saturday, Klopp has nine wins, three draws and three defeats in his tussles with Tuchel, though it’s three victories and two defeats in the six matches since they left Dortmund and Mainz respectively.

It’s been pretty even when the pair have had broadly similar squads with which to work, so it’s up to Liverpool to make sure Tuchel doesn’t become only the fourth manager to win three successive games against Klopp.

The fans are sure to play their part too, just as they did in 2016 and 2018.

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