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Klopp on Enjoying the Battle with Manchester City

Is this now the best league game in world football?

In this composite image a comparison has been made between Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (L) and Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City.
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola: used to facing off in big moments.
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

In his pre-Manchester City press conference, manager Jürgen Klopp reflected on the battle between his side and Pep Guardiola’s over the latter’s career in Manchester.

I enjoy preparing the game, it’s the biggest challenge you can face in football. Football is about close down spaces, players, getting challenges right, against City it’s always a challenge. Home game, Anfield, us v City, they are at moment best team in world.

But we will give it a try knowing there are no guarantees. We will have help from a full Anfield.

In his own build-up to the game at the weekend, Klopp was careful to note that Manchester City don’t dominate their opponents for 90 minutes, despite being in incredible form.

There are moments when you have to suffer and there are moments when you have to be dominant as well. Finding the right balance is the challenge.

Sometimes you forget you can cause City problems as well. We have to remember that.

Liverpool’s tactical set-up will reflect this need for defensive balance while aiming to cause City’s defense real problems:

We always were brave against City. But our formation changed to close some gaps. We have to make sure we are the best defensive unit we can be, that means high press and all the different areas. We have to figure it out.

Then we have to cheeky, be flexible, pass the ball. We played a good game v Rangers. Harvey and Fabio were really flexible. Both 6s did really well. That’s what you have to do - pass the ball around and let the opposition defend as well.

Given Liverpool’s recent form, Manchester City are likely the favorites despite coming to Anfield to play in front of a (hopefully) hostile crowd. Klopp reminds us, though, that we can pose them serious problems on our day — and it’s been our day once already this season: the Community Shield.

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