Van Gaal: Klopp has trained Liverpool to be a fighting force.

Van Gaal reckons the Reds will take the title off the ­champions. 

Louis van Gaal. (Image: Reuters/Andrew Yates)

Former Ajax, Barcelona and Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has hailed Jurgen Klopp and backs the German coach to beat Pep Guardiola to the Premier League this season.

Despite City’s 2-1 win over the Reds at the Etihad on Thursday that cut lead at the top to four points, Van Gaal believes “Klopp has turned Liverpool into an ­absolute fighting machine”.

Jurgen Klopp after the final whistle at the Etihad. (Image: EMPICS Sport)

He said as the Mirror reported: “Klopp has turned Liverpool into an ­absolute fighting machine – both ­attacking and defending.

“So, if I was to put my money on one club for the league, it would be Liverpool.

“Liverpool’s team is not based on the highest quality when it comes to their players. In fact, the highest quality players are at City.

“But, at the same time, that is the ­weakness in ­Guardiola. He only coaches his teams in an attacking way. ­Always.

Guardiola gives instructions to Stones. (Getty)

“The moment his team have to defend, they look terrible. ­Liverpool have a team that can defend much better.

“That’s because Klopp has trained them to be a fighting force, whether they have the ball or not. That’s exactly what is lacking in Guardiola’s team now.

“City have fabulous football ideas and a sparkling way of playing – but not the right ­fighting spirit.

“Don’t get me wrong, I still love to watch the way City play. But the way Klopp makes Liverpool play is absolutely fantastic.”

Van Gaal is a seven-time title winner in Holland, Spain and Germany, who managed United to fourth and fifth spot in his two ­seasons at Old Trafford.

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