Jurgen Klopp has discussed Liverpool’s growing rivalry with Manchester City, as well as the threat possessed by Raheem Sterling ahead of the crucial meeting between the sides this weekend.
Liverpool host Manchester City at Anfield this weekend in the latest instalment of their modern rivalry, a clash between the division’s top two which could have huge implications on this season’s title race.
League leaders Liverpool currently hold a six-point advantage over the reigning Premier League champions following their unbeaten start to the campaign, and victory this weekend will see them open up a significant gap ahead of the festive fixture schedule.
The two sides have provided some memorable encounters in recent seasons as they have challenged each other for major honours, and Klopp admits the success of the sides has seen the rivalry get ‘bigger and bigger’.
“From a sport’s point of view this rivalry is getting bigger and bigger,” Klopp said in his pre-match press conference.
“We live in now and obviously Man City are a pretty good football team and thank god there is a rivalry because it means we are a pretty good team as well.
“City in the last three years have been the team in the Premier League and it has always been our plan to get closer. In the last three games, we have drawn once and lost twice, but the guys are showing improvement.
“Everyone has to be in top shape in the stadium on Sunday, even the guy selling the hotdog. Everyone has to be there from the warm-up and invest all our emotions.”
Sunday’s clash will see Liverpool once again come up against former player Raheem Sterling, the England international having flourished since swapping Anfield for the Etihad four years ago.
⚽ Raheem Sterling has been involved in 14 goals in his last 11 CL apps (10 goals 4 assists)
Goals in last 3 CL apps:
v Dinamo Zagreb ⚽
v Atalanta ⚽⚽⚽
v Atalanta ⚽
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) November 6, 2019
The 24-year-old has begun the new season in scintillating form, scoring 14 goals in all competitions for Pep Guardiola’s side, with Klopp identifying the winger as a particular threat to his side’s chances this weekend.
“Raheem Sterling is always a big threat, and he is always improving,” the German admitted.
“He is a fantastic footballer, I can’t say anything bad about him, outstanding. He is not the only threat unfortunately. That is the problem we have.”