‘Reds players face intense pre-season ahead of CL final’ - GulfToday

‘Reds players face intense pre-season ahead of CL final’

Liverpool

Liverpool are bidding for their sixth European Cup, which would be their first piece of silverware under Jurgen Klopp.

London: Juergen Klopp says he will fill the three-week gap before the Champions League final against Tottenham Hotspur by putting his Liverpool players through a two-week “pre-season”.

The two Premier League clubs played their final domestic games of the season on Sunday and are in the unusual position of having a lengthy wait for the June 1 clash in Madrid.

Klopp has given his team a few days off to recover from a gruelling Premier League campaign in which they pushed Manchester City to the final day in the title race, eventually losing out by one point.

They will reconvene next week to prepare for the showpiece meeting at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

“We have to do a couple of things in preparation for the Champions League, media stuff,” Klopp told the club’s website.

“We have to do that, then the boys will have a couple of days off and then we have two proper weeks as a pre-season for the Champions League final. We will do that, we will play that, (hopefully) win it, come home and then the people get what they deserve.”

Liverpool which would be their first piece of silverware under Klopp. Tottenham, who produced a superb comeback to beat Ajax Amsterdam in the semi-final and reach their first Champions League final, will hope to use the gap to their advantage with top striker Harry Kane recovering from an ankle injury. Manager Mauricio Pochettino, also seeking his first silverware after five years at Tottenham, said at the weekend after they clinched a top-four spot with a 2-2 draw at home to Everton that he would not put his players through a pre-season regime.

They were given Monday and Tuesday off before beginning the build-up to the final.

“We have our idea, we have our plan,” he said. “We need to be natural. It is not a pre-season, but it is not going to be a holiday. The most important thing is that we apply common sense, we have the plan and we are going to deliver the plan so the players arrive in the best condition to win the final.”

Meanwhile, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola edged out Klopp to a trophy for the second time in three days as the Catalan claimed the League Managers’ Association manager of the year on Tuesday.

Guardiola’s City retained the Premier League title on Sunday, beating Klopp’s Liverpool by a single point at the end of a thrilling title race.

Having also won the League Cup earlier in the campaign, Guardiola’s side could complete a first ever domestic treble in English football when they face Watford in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday.

Agence France-Presse

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