Previous
Tobol Kostanay
Jeunesse Esch
5:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Kairat Almaty
Siroki Brijeg
7:30 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
FK Makedonija
Alashkert FC
7:30 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 3
Game Details
KS Teuta
FK Ventspils
8:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 3
Game Details
FC Inter Turku
Brøndby
8:30 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 4
Game Details
Rigas Futbola Skola
Olimpija Ljubljana
9:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 2
Game Details
FC Levadia Tallinn
Stjarnan
9:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
RoPS
Aberdeen
9:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
Universitatea Craiova
Sabail
9:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 2
Game Details
Levski Sofia
MFK Ruzomberok
9:30 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 0
Game Details
Dinamo Minsk
FK Liepaja
9:30 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
Haugesund
Cliftonville
10:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Zalgiris Vilnius
Honvéd
10:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 3
Game Details
Petrocub-Hincesti
AEK Larnaca
10:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
Apollon Limassol
Kauno Zalgiris
10:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 0
Game Details
Zrinjski Mostar
Akademija Pandev
10:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 0
Game Details
Torpedo Kutaisi
Ordabasy Shymkent
10:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
FC Milsami
FCSB
10:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
Cracovia
Dunajska Streda
10:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
FC Vaduz
Breidablik
10:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Neftchi
Speranta Nisporeni
10:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 0
Game Details
Progres Niederkorn
Cork
10:30 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 0
Game Details
Hapoel Be'er
KF Laci
10:30 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
UE Engordany
Dinamo Tbilisi
10:30 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 6
Game Details
Vidi
FK Zeta
11:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 5 - 1
Game Details
IFK Norrkoping
St Patricks
11:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 0
Game Details
B36 Torshavn
Crusaders
11:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
NS Mura
Maccabi Haifa
11:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
Hibernians
Shakhter Soligorsk
11:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
Hajduk Split
Gzira United
11:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 0
Game Details
FK Kukesi
Debrecen
11:00 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 3
Game Details
FC Vitebsk
KuPS Kuopio
11:30 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
Shkupi
Pyunik
11:30 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 3
Game Details
FC Spartak Trnava
Radnik Bijeljina
11:45 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
Radnicki Nis
Flora
11:45 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
NK Domzale
Balzan FC
11:45 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 4 - 3
Game Details
Rangers
St. Joseph's
11:45 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 4 - 0
Game Details
Ballymena
Malmo FF
11:45 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 7
Game Details
Kilmarnock
Connah's Quay
11:45 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Buducnost Podgorica
JK Narva Trans
11:45 AM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 0
Game Details
Legia Warsaw
Europa FC
12:00 PM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
KR Reykjavik
Molde
12:00 PM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 7
Game Details
Shamrock Rovers
SK Brann
12:00 PM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 2
Game Details
Next
 By Michael Cox

Pochettino vs. Klopp a battle of Premier League's brightest minds

From the multitude of talented foreign coaches currently operating in the Premier League, Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp are the ones who have contributed most to the division's current tactical feel. We've long since moved past the defensive era defined by Jose Mourinho, and the possession-based approach epitomised by Pep Guardiola was actually more popular several seasons ago, before he joined Manchester City.

This is the Premier League's pressing era, and it's Pochettino and Klopp, more than any other coaches, who arrived in the Premier League and immediately demanded that their sides committed to the press.

Pochettino took inspiration from Marcelo Bielsa (now surprisingly at Leeds) when transforming both Southampton and then Tottenham. Klopp's approach, a more German-based "gegenpressing" style, was evident from his first game: a 0-0 draw at Tottenham in November 2015, a goalless draw between two sides who disrupted the obsession's passing more than creating much themselves.

This weekend Liverpool travel to Tottenham -- or at least their temporary home of Wembley -- attempting to gain revenge for last season's heavy defeat. Pochettino's side won 4-1 last October in a game notable for Tottenham's guile and patience, with Harry Winks tucked in behind Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen, the most technically proficient and un-physical midfield trio Spurs have played under Pochettino.

That match, surprisingly, wasn't really about pressing but this weekend's game will surely revert to type, and it's Liverpool who have appeared more fearsome, more proactive and more aggressive in midfield thus far in 2018-19. The signing of Naby Keita has improved their transitions in both respects -- he's demonstrated an ability to launch quick breaks from deep and an understanding of how to pressure opponents in the opposite half. Having arrived from a Bundesliga side, RB Leipzig, that has excelled at transitions in recent years, he's had little difficulty in adapting to Klopp's methods.

Alongside him has been James Milner, so often the jack-of-all-trades, the permanent back-up, the utility man deployed wherever his side were undermanned. This season, though, Milner has been hugely impressive in his favoured central midfield position, regularly breaking past Mohamed Salah into attack and backing up the front three to win possession quickly.

Salah's winner against Brighton was probably the most typical goal Liverpool have scored under Klopp: as the opposition attempted to play out from the back, multiple players surrounded Yves Bissouma, Milner slid in to dispossess him. Then Sadio Mane combined with Roberto Firmino, who laid the ball perfectly for Salah to bend it into the far corner. The front three combined well but it was Milner who initiated the attack with his tenacity.

Klopp and Pochettino have arguably done more for the Premier League in a tactical sense than anyone else. How will their meeting go this Saturday?
Klopp and Pochettino have arguably done more for the Premier League in a tactical sense than anyone else. How will their meeting go this Saturday?

In the deepest midfield role Klopp can choose from Jordan Henderson, a regular in that position last season, and Georginio Wijnaldum, who has been brought back from a box-to-box position to excel as the holding midfielder. Klopp played both last time out, against Leicester. Neither would have considered themselves purely defensive midfielders a couple of seasons ago but in backing up the press of two midfield colleagues, they can showcase their energy in a different sense.

This could cause Spurs real problems judging by their performance against Watford in a 2-1 defeat before the international break. The concerning factor wasn't necessarily the defeat, but the nature of the defeat: Tottenham, the side that's looked physically fearsome over the past couple of years, were physically overpowered. Davinson Sanchez was barged off the ball by Troy Deeney; Isaac Success did likewise on Ben Davies.

In midfield, Christian Eriksen and Mousa Dembele were overwhelmed, the former struggling to find time on the ball, the latter lacking the swagger and mobility of his peak seasons. Eric Dier remained on the bench despite Tottenham's evident struggles. It would be a surprise if Pochettino didn't recall his most aggressive defensive midfielder for a clash that should be high-energy and physical, an old-school Premier League scrap.

It's not all about fighting fire with fire, of course. Winks was outstanding in this fixture last season, offering a composed and mature performance in front of the Tottenham defence. Winks' defining attribute is his ability to receive the ball intelligently and anticipate when to turn or when to play a return pass. His head swivels are a thing of wonder, and this is a contest where Tottenham's midfielders will need to have eyes in the back of their heads.

Pochettino has options in midfield, with Mousa Sissoko available as well as Dier, Winks, Dembele, Alli and Eriksen. We could see four of them start in the same system, in some format, with Pochettino likely to switch to a four-man defence after the failure of the back three at Vicarage Road and the threat of Liverpool's front trio. The duo of Harry Kane and Lucas Moura likely to continue up front despite Son Heung-min's return from extensive international duty. Spurs are capable of big performances in big games, partly because Pochettino remains excellent at scouting the opposition and plotting their downfall.

Liverpool start this weekend's trip to Wembley as favourites, which feels remarkable considering the comprehensive nature of Spurs' victory here last season. But Klopp & Co. upped their game since their last trip to Wembley, improving their defensive performance partly because of fine acquisitions in Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker but also because their press has been re-energised higher up the pitch.

Like Klopp's first Premier League game, against Pochettino's Spurs three years ago, pressing should be a key feature this weekend but it would be a major surprise if the scoreline was the same. Expect a good open game and plenty of goals.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.