Jurgen Klopp is winning the managerial war with rival Pep Guardiola because players love him and he has the guts to make the big decisions.
Klopp’s Liverpool host Guardiola’s Manchester City at Anfield tomorrow night in the final Premier League game of 2016.
Kop legend Didi Hamann, who also played for City, believes Klopp has a clear edge over Guardiola going into the clash.
Hamann feels Klopp has developed a bond with his players that Guardiola has failed to match with his squad at City.
And Hamann said Klopp has shown he has the courage to make big calls, claiming Guardiola has yet to do the same.
“The way Jurgen Klopp celebrates with his players makes him stand out in the Premier League,” said Hamann.
“There’s a bond there which you don’t get at any other club.
“Those players would go through a brick wall for their manager – more so than any other club in the league.
“Guardiola certainly doesn’t seem to have the same connection with his players.
“Klopp has also made a cut-throat decision, whereas Pep hasn’t.
“Both clubs have had goalkeeper problems this season, but Klopp has dropped Loris Karius and brought back Simon Mignolet.
“There was huge pressure on Karius after high-profile mistakes, and while Klopp defended him in the Press, he changed him and dealt with the issue behind closed doors.
“Since then, Liverpool have won three games and only conceded once.
“Where some would have seen it as a weakness, Klopp showed strength under pressure and made a decisive call.
Jurgen Klopp takes cheeky dig at Pep Guardiola
“There are still huge question marks over Claudio Bravo at City and Pep hasn’t addressed them.
“Maybe Willy Caballero isn’t in a position to challenge for the number one spot, or maybe Guardiola is weighing up other options, but the keeper is still a huge issue that hasn’t been dealt with.”
Hamann also claimed City will find themselves in trouble at Anfield if they try to adhere to Guardiola’s policy of playing the ball out from the back – whatever the circumstances.
“There’s a lot more urgency in the City team, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely faultless,” said Hamann.
“They continue to play the ball in positions in places where they just shouldn’t.
“At times there’s nothing wrong with going long and playing in the opposition’s half. There must be a happy balance there.
“If they try to play out from the back against Liverpool at Anfield then they’re going to be in all sorts of problems.”
*Didi Hamann was speaking exclusively to the Paddy Power Blog. To read more visit Blog.PaddyPower.com .