Klopp versus Guardiola: A story of their rivalry so far
It was a rivalry that started on July 27th, 2013 when Jurgen Klopp's side first faced a Pep Guardiola side and since then the games between the sides have rarely let us down.
Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp renew a rivalry in the Premier League on New Years Eve that was one of the fiercest in recent Bundesliga memory as Klopp tried as he could to fight the powerful Bayern Munich before succumbing to their superiority in 2014-15 when he left the club after an emotional time in charge.
Two successful managers
Klopp, the mastermind behind Borussia Dortmund's rise to the peak of European football, managed the club for seven years and won two Bundesliga titles, two German Super Cups and one German Cup during that spell.
Pep, on the other hand, had an excellent spell at Barcelona before taking over at Bayern where he won three consecutive Bundesliga titles, two German Cups, a FIFA Club World Cup and a European Super Cup.
Pep versus Klopp: A tale of the tape
In their first game against each other, in the German Supercup, Klopp got the upper hand with a 4-2 victory at the Signal Iduna Park. One of Pep's current flock, a player who he brought to City during the summer in Ilkay Gundogan, featured that day and scored for Dortmund.
The following two games in the Bundesliga ended in 0-3 wins for either side. Bayern claimed the first victory and Dortmund claimed the next one with another Manchester (United, this time) arrival getting on the scoresheet in Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Pep won both ties between the two sides during their 14-15 season, 2-1 at the Allianz Arena and 0-1 at Signal Iduna Park. It seemed as though Guardiola had tamed Klopp. That was before, however, Klopp's Dortmund, a team in disarray during the same season, beat Guardiola's Bayern 3-1 on Penalties in the Pokal Cup semi-final as a parting shot. They would eventually lose the final to Wolfsburg but Klopp's final game against Guardiola was a winning one and he will want to build on that with his new side when they face off at 18:30 CET on New Years Eve.
There has never been an open disrespect for each other but you feel as though too many times Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich came knocking on the door of Klopp's Dortmund looking for his players. Klopp might also feel as though twice now Pep has moved in on his turf, first in Germany where he had a decent understanding of the landscape and more recently in England where Klopp was just finding his feet in the league before Guardiola arrived and turned everything on it's head.
Let's talk numbers
They have played each other eight times in total, with Pep winning four and Klopp winning the other four. There have been no draws when a Pep side meets a Klopp side (aside from the German Cup but that went to penalties and we had a winner) and if history is anything to go by, we are sure to see goals. Only once has there been less than two goals scored when they played each other and never have we seen a 0-0 draw.
There have been 22 goals scored in their eight clashes and they have always been fiercely competitive, intense, tactical battles. If that doesn't get you excited for the game on New Years Eve then you're better off, perhaps, watching the New Years Eve Movie Special that's on one of the other channels.
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