Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores says he knew Jurgen Klopp had what it takes to become a success at Liverpool.
The Hornets travel to Anfield on Sunday looking to make the most of any hangover from the Reds’ Europa League semi-final victory against Villarreal on Thursday night.
Flores has already defeated the German once this season, recording a 3-0 win at Vicarage Road just before Christmas.
Since then, Klopp’s influence at Liverpool has slowly become more apparent, as the energetic former Borussia Dortmund coach looks to make his own mark on a squad he inherited when appointed successor to Brendan Rodgers at the start of October.
Flores said: “They are on a good run and Liverpool have changed a lot. I remember my conversation with Jurgen Klopp after the match at Vicarage Road and he was a little bit worried about their results.
“You need to know the league, the players and the squad and he’d only been a short time in the Premier League, but I remember the conversation and I said he didn’t need to worry. He’s a good manager and for sure his team were going to improve.
“I love this coach, first because I love how he manages the squad and the players, and I love his idea of football.
“Just like when he was at Dortmund, they play quick, they play with quality players who are skilful, quick and and clever – these are the players he likes and he chooses for Liverpool.”
Flores has first-hand experience of what to expect when his side run out at Anfield.
“I know how it is to play at Anfield. I went there with Atletico Madrid five or six years ago in the semi-final of the Europa League,” he said.
“I know all about the atmosphere and the support from the stands, they push the team a lot.
“Liverpool are an amazing team, they’ve had a good run and they have a lot of good players.
“Anfield is an amazing stadium, so we need to be competitive because the other team are very powerful.”
Klopp is likely to make significant changes as he rests many of the players who booked a place in the Europa League final.
It means probable starts for the likes of goalkeeper Danny Ward, centre-back Martin Skrtel, midfielders Joe Allen and Lucas Leiva and possibly striker Christian Benteke.
Left-back Brad Smith is suspended after being sent off at Swansea last weekend.