Tuchel labels Klopp a 'genius' & plays down comparisons with Liverpool boss ahead of Chelsea's trip to Anfield

The German is relishing the "challenge" of facing his compatriot for the first time in the Premier League this week

Thomas Tuchel has labelled Jurgen Klopp a "genius" while playing down comparisons with the Liverpool boss ahead of Chelsea's trip to Anfield.

Tuchel is currently preparing his Chelsea squad for a meeting with the reigning Premier League champions on Thursday night.

He will be pitting his wits against Klopp on the touchline for the first time since taking over at Stamford Bridge in January, and is looking forward to the challenge of trying to best his "outstanding" compatriot.

What's been said?

Tuchel told a pre-match press conference: "Of course there are coaches here in the Premier League when you enter the competition with not only the best clubs but also the best coaches in the world, one of them is Jurgen, clearly, and he has proven that at many clubs. 

"It brings me out of bed early because it is a challenge for me to play against him. He is a genius but in the end we will not meet up for a game of tennis, we play with our teams and we have to be prepared.     

"Jurgen has proved to be outstanding, he transforms any club into a unit and, at all the three clubs he has worked at, he has been a big part of them, with the heart of the fans. He is a huge success."

Asked to address the similarities between himself and Klopp, the Chelsea boss added: "I’m pretty relaxed about all the comparisons, if there are comparisons between Jurgen and me. This is what we are up for clearly.

"It stays one of the toughest challenges to play at Anfield and we want to get the most out of it."

Tuchel's record against Klopp

Tuchel and Klopp have come up against each other 14 times in total, with 10 of those outings coming in the Bundesliga.

Both men took in spells at Mainz and Borussia Dortmund earlier in their respective careers, with Tuchel also enjoying a two-and-a-half-year stint at Paris Saint-Germain before his arrival at Chelsea.

The 47-year-old has only recorded two wins against Klopp so far, alongside nine losses and three draws.

Tuchel did, however, come out on top in their most recent clash in November 2018, with PSG running out 2-1 winners against Liverpool in a Champions League group-stage clash at Parc des Princes.

Where are Chelsea and Liverpool in the table?

The winner of this week's contest at Anfield will lay down a significant marker in the battle for a top-four finish, with the Premier League title already out of reach for both sides.

Chelsea are sitting in fifth at the moment, one point ahead of Liverpool and one behind West Ham, who currently occupy the final Champions League spot.

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