Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says the Reds will try and prevent Eden Hazard from getting the ball when Chelsea travel to Anfield tomorrow.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference yesterday, the German quipped that he needs 13 players on the pitch and two just to mark Hazard in order to win the game.
However, he also talked about his plans in more detail and how intends to stop Chelsea using their best playmaker:
“The best way to try to make sure that he cannot shine is to avoid passes to him. React a little bit better than other teams did. It’s not easy, because when he has the ball it’s already too late. You try to read the game, read the passes.”
“But in the end, in a one-vs-one situation, you cannot defend him. You need help from somewhere else. I like footballers like this. If he plays his best game, we have to deal with that. And if we can make sure they cannot play as they usually do, that’s good for us.”
Essentially, Klopp is describing his counter-pressing system that he will look to use to close down space high up the pitch and prevent any service from getting to Hazard.
As the Belgian showed in the 2-1 win in the Carabao Cup earlier in the season, that is easier said than done. Running one-on-one against an opponent, he will get past them 99 times out of 100.
His skill on the ball, his pace and control are all key to his game, and Blues fans will be hoping he can cause havoc against the Liverpool backline tomorrow evening.