Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said on Friday that the Merseyside club’s top-of-the-table Premier League clash with Manchester City at the Etihad stadium will make for interesting viewing, regardless of the result.
Sunday’s blockbuster showdown in Manchester will likely play a key role in deciding the outcome of the title race as a City victory would give them a four-point lead with seven games left while Liverpool would overtake their rivals with a win.
“I’m expecting a good game,” Klopp told a news conference. “I know that doesn’t happen often when two top teams face each other. Our history with City shows that very often they have been a pretty interesting watch because both teams really go for it. If we win we are two points ahead, we lose we’re four points behind. If it’s a draw, one point behind - that is it. Does anyone think that’s done and dusted?
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“This is a very important game. If we were 14 or 15 points behind it will still be a good game. We’ve qualified for a good game with the season we’ve played so far.”
Nadal v Federer
City and Liverpool have dominated the league over the past five seasons, and Klopp said the rivalry had spurred both teams on to compete at the highest level. He likened it to the rivalry between tennis players Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal.
“The last four years we’ve stepped up a bit closer to City. We’ve pushed each other to incredible points tallies, I never thought it would be possible in this league,” Klopp said. “The consistency both teams have shown over the period is crazy. In sport, I think what helps the most is a strong opponent. In the long term, especially. I think Nadal and Federer enjoyed the rivalry they had. That’s how it is in sport. I wouldn’t say I’m thankful City is that good, but it didn’t harm our development.”
Klopp also heaped praise on City boss Pep Guardiola, saying his opposite number was “the best coach in the world.”
“We all would agree on that,” Klopp said. “If anybody doubts him, I have no idea how that could happen.”
The German added that he had a fully fit squad at his disposal.
Liverpool, which has not won any of the last four meetings between the teams, will be looking for a first league victory at the Etihad Stadium since 2015 when it travels to Manchester on Sunday.
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