(Reuters) – Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has praised the club’s former boss Brendan Rodgers for building an exciting Leicester City squad, capable of finishing in the Premier League’s top-four this season.
Leicester are currently third in the table after a bright start to the campaign and would provisionally overtake defending champions Manchester City if they beat leaders Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.
Only Liverpool and Manchester City have recorded more points in the English top-flight than Leicester since Rodgers arrived at the King Power Stadium.
“Leicester are built like you would like to build a team,” Klopp told a news conference on Friday. “Brilliant team.
“What they do is really good. Exciting, fresh, defend well, play football and are especially threatening in counter attacks. Congratulations to them.”
Leicester were the last team outside the established ‘top six’ to qualify for the Champions League when they defied the odds to lift the Premier League title in the 2015-16 season.
When asked if they could return to Europe’s elite competition, Klopp said: “It looks like that, 100 percent. There is no difference to other top-six teams apart from maybe the name.”
Klopp took over from Rodgers at Anfield in 2015 and lives in the former Celtic boss’s house.
Rodgers, who guided Celtic to back-to-back domestic trebles during his time in Scotland, will return to Anfield for the first time since his departure.
“I hope the reception from the fans will be OK,” Klopp added. “From my side it’s fine. We pay enough rent to him, I’m not sure he has to work!
“He’s doing really well. I’m not surprised about that. He did an incredible job at Celtic, now at Leicester.”
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker has returned to training after recovering from a calf injury but remains a doubt for the weekend’s clash, while Joel Matip and Xherdan Shaqiri remain unavailable.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)