Madrid Desk, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- The English Premier League is poised to leap back into action behind closed doors this weekend with a tantalizing battle of the champions as last season’s winners Liverpool host newly-promoted Leeds United.
Liverpool’s trophy-winning season put an end to a 30-year drought in the domestic league while for Leeds the outing at Anfield on Saturday heralds the start of their first top-flight campaign in 16 years.
The West Yorkshire team’s manager Marcelo Bielsa, a notorious stickler for stats and champion of relentless attacking play that has inspired the likes of Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino, signed a one-year extension to his contract on Friday.
He already has legendary status in the one-club city of Leeds having drastically turned around the team’s fortunes since taking over in 2018.
Awaiting the Argentine coach for his maiden outing in the Premier League is Juergen Klopp, a man of similar legendary status in Merseyside who also has a penchant for high-speed attacking play.
“There are similarities but there are big differences,” Klopp said Friday. “I like him without knowing him, as a proper character obviously.”
Speaking at his own pre-match press conference in Leeds, Bielsa heaped praise on his rivals.
“They are deserving champions, who play very consistently and they are without doubt one of the best teams in the world,” he said.
Liverpool’s summer signings have been slim so far, especially when compared to other teams like Chelsea.
The Reds have brought in former Olympiacos player Kostas Tsimikas to bolster the left-back position but look set to rely mainly on the side that won the Premier League last season and the Champions League a year earlier, with key figures like Virgil van Dijk, Andy Roberton, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino.