Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits the absence of Kevin De Bruyne would be a ‘massive blow’ for Manchester City as the two teams prepare to meet on Thursday.
The Reds travel to Man City this week with De Bruyne a doubt for the clash having missed Sunday’s win at Southampton with a muscle injury.
Man City currently trail Liverpool by seven points in the title race, and Klopp admits the absence of the ‘world class’ De Bruyne for the fixture would be a significant loss for their opponents.
‘We cannot specially prepare for Kevin De Bruyne. He is an outstanding player. Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva are probably the three midfielders who played most of the time in the title-winning season – and missing a player like him is a massive blow.’ Klopp told his pre-match press conference.
‘He played from time to time and was unbelievably influential immediately, he scored fantastic goals. He is just a world-class player. I expect it that he’s back. I’m happy he’s not seriously injured again, I said that before. I was really happy when he was back, I love the player; everybody who loves football must love Kevin De Bruyne. He looks like a really humble person and is an outstanding player on the pitch – a leader and all that stuff.
‘It would make a difference but on the other hand, since he was out – and Pep said it as well – he thinks the football they played this season is better than the football they played last season. It’s more flexible, they involve different things on the pitch. Bernardo Silva played an unbelievable season, Ilkay Gundogan played brilliantly. They have a lot of options and obviously if he would play, it would give them a massive boost.’