Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel will face each other for the 19th time as managers in Saturday’s FA Cup final at Wembley.
The two Germans have enjoyed great success since taking over at Liverpool and Chelsea.
Here, the PA news agency takes a closer look at the rivals who have seen their careers continuously intertwine.
While the duo are ‘gegenpressing’ disciples, they have their own twist on a tactic which has taken over the world. Klopp mixes the intense style of pressing high to win back possession with rapid counter-attacks which was perfectly encapsulated at the weekend when Mohamed Salah scored via an assist by goalkeeper Alisson Becker. It is a different story for Tuchel, who prefers his team to dominate possession with wing-backs key to his system.
The first battle between the pair occurred in 2009 when Tuchel, then of Mainz, held Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund to a goalless draw before he won the next encounter later in the season. Yet with Klopp managing the Black and Yellows in a golden period, he won seven of their 10 meetings in Germany.
The tide has changed since with Liverpool unable to beat Tuchel’s Chelsea in three encounters over the past year. However, heading into February’s Carabao Cup final between the two teams, Klopp still held the upper hand overall with nine wins from 17 meetings, with the Blues manager having tasted success on only three occasions.
The Carabao Cup final proves difficult to add to the list of previous head-to-head encounters, as Liverpool’s 11-10 victory after a penalty shoot-out means on one level the match could be slated as a draw, but the Reds still walked away with the trophy after goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher rifled home the winning spot-kick.
Liverpool’s Carabao Cup win puts the two managers level on 10 trophy wins apiece during their respective careers. Klopp won the Bundesliga twice, the DFB-Pokal and the DFL-Super Cup on two occasions during his time with Dortmund and has added the Premier League, Champions League, Super Cup, Club World Cup and February’s League Cup title since he took over at Liverpool.
Tuchel, meanwhile, got off the mark by winning the DFB-Pokal in 2017 with Dortmund and added six further trophies at Paris St Germain. In a little more than a year with Chelsea, he has won the Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup.
Liverpool could still yet claim an unprecedented quadruple, with the League Cup triumph kick-starting a drive for all four major titles on offer. Second-placed Liverpool trail Manchester City by three points in the Premier League with two games to go, so any slip-up from Pep Guardiola’s men could open the door for Klopp and company to tiptoe through. The Reds must lift this FA Cup crown to keep the dream alive, and will also face Real Madrid in the Champions League showdown on May 28.
Chelsea have struggled under the weight of owner Roman Abramovich’s UK Government sanctions and the turbulence of the club’s sale, which is now all but complete. Injuries and several dips in form curtailed any chance of a Premier League title chase, but the Blues have still lifted the European Super Cup and Club World Cup crowns this season. A third-place Premier League finish and an FA Cup title would be regarded as a good return on a testing campaign. But the Blues know full well the strength of their opposition at Wembley this weekend.