Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has said the Toulouse FC deserve “all of [their] respect” ahead of their Europa League meeting on Thursday.
Toulouse excelled upon their return to the top flight last season. Under Philippe Montanier, Le TéFéCé finished 13th in Ligue 1 and also won the Coupe de France. Their triumph in France’s only cup competition earned them a spot in the Europa League this season. However, despite Toulouse’s success, Montanier lost his job at the end of the season. An underperformance based on data projections was cited as the reason behind what was viewed as an extremely harsh sacking.
Carles Martínez Novell replaced Montanier at Toulouse, stepping up from his previous role as assistant. Whilst Toulouse have been less convincing this season, they do nonetheless sit 10th in Ligue 1. Novell’s side have drawn half of their matches, including their match against Stade de Reims over the weekend.
Toulouse are currently unbeaten (one win, one draw) in their Europa League group ahead of Thursday’s trip to Anfield. Whilst Liverpool will be favourites, Klopp is wary of his opponent. “Toulouse deserve our respect. It is a really interesting story I’d say […] this season they are a brilliant, very talented team […] they have clear ideas. We need to see how they turn up here. We really don’t know. In all of their matches, we could see that they tried to play forward. They took a point against PSG, which is huge of course,” said Klopp in a pre-match press conference, transcribed by L’Équipe.
GFFN | Luke Entwistle