In preparation for the important game against Liverpool on New Year’s Eve, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola made a trip out to Anfield to scope out the competition. After the game, where Liverpool came from behind to beat Stoke 4-1, Klopp was asked about this bit of recon.
"I'm not sure he watched a lot of games in other stadiums the last few weeks, eh? That's the first sign that it [Saturday’s match] is a special game!
"We are already looking forward. It's a difficult game for both teams, but an exciting one. The best news for us is that it's at Anfield. What can I say, I'm really looking forward to it. They're an outstanding side, we are not too bad. It'll be a nice game."
Neither team can afford to lose as they both battle for second place and to try and keep pace with Chelsea in the title race. For Guardiola, the return of Sergio Aguero will be a great boost for the team.
Philippe Coutinho, on the other hand, was rumored to be looking at this match as his comeback after a spell out of Liverpool’s team. However, now it seems that this was too ambitious, and the star playmaker won’t be ready on time. Klopp will have some other options, though, including Daniel Sturridge and Emre Can, who have started the last two games on the bench following their injuries.
Asked whether Guardiola’s presence at Anfield was a sign of respect, Klopp was characteristically glib, stating: "I don't know. I respect them a lot, but I have not been to City's stadium this season or last to watch games. Maybe they want to watch good football, maybe Pep saw nothing tonight?
"The game is on the 31st. So whatever I say tonight, we cannot win it tonight. But maybe I could say a few things that make it more difficult for us. It's probably best I shut my mouth!"
Thanks to the speed at which matches come during this period, there’s only four days until the showdown, when the fate of both teams will be decided.