Klopp praises Leicester transformation under Puel

Klopp praises Leicester transformation under Puel
Soccer Football - Premier League - Southampton vs Leicester City - St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Britain - December 13, 2017 Leicester City manager Claude Puel celebrates after the match REUTERS/Toby Melville
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(Reuters) – Claude Puel has made Leicester City more efficient while still retaining their identity as a ruthless counter-attacking team, Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp said of his Foxes counterpart ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash at Anfield.

Frenchman Puel has led Leicester to five wins and three draws in 11 games since taking charge in October, adding possession play and crisp passing to Leicester’s counter-punching DNA.

Klopp is well aware of Leicester’s progress and pointed to striker Jamie Vardy’s brilliant goal in last week’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United as an example of the fluid interplay between their attackers.

“We didn’t make the analysis so far but I saw the Manchester United game — they really play football now. They are still a wonderful counter-attacking team,” Klopp told the club’s website.

“The first goal they scored against United was, ‘wow’, a fantastic pass from (Demarai) Gray and (Riyad) Mahrez was in behind waiting for Vardy. It looks quite easy.

“They are fine-tuned and a good football-playing side. That may be the biggest change since Claude Puel was in.”

Liverpool are fourth in the league and looking to reduce a four-point gap between themselves and third-placed Chelsea but Klopp is expecting a difficult game against eighth-placed Leicester.

“It will be a tough challenge again. This period in the year is really tough for all of us and you need to be ready. I like that, actually.”

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)

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