Jurgen Klopp has described facing Manchester City as ‘the most difficult game in world football’ ahead of Liverpool’s trip to the Etihad this weekend.
Liverpool travel to face Pep Guardiola’s side this weekend in a hugely anticipated clash between the two title rivals, each side seeking to make a statement of intent in the early weeks of the campaign.
The visitors currently sit top of the division after seven fixtures as they bid to retain their Premier League crown, though face a City side on Sunday who they have failed to beat in their previous four league visits to the Etihad, including a 4-0 defeat in July.
The two sides have established themselves as the dominant forces in English football in recent years and have shared the last three Premier League titles, their rivalry having grown as a result of being direct competitors for major silverware.
Liverpool finished 18 points clear of Guardiola’s side last season to win a first league title in three decades, though Klopp has warned his side their past achievements count for little ahead of what he describes as ‘the most difficult game in world football.’
“We are early in the season and so many things are different this year so nothing is going to compare to the year before,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference.
“We have to just make sure we can get through the tough periods and play the best football we can. It’s against Man City, who are one of the best teams in the world. I enjoy these types of games and it will be a tough task.
“To play against Manchester City is the most difficult game in world football and we have to prepare for that.”
Klopp has confirmed that Thiago Alcantara is set to miss the clash, whilst Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Fabinho remain absent through injury.
Joel Matip could return to the starting line-up, however, after returning to the match-day squad for the midweek Champions League win over Atalanta alongside Kostas Tsimikas and Naby Keita.