EPL

Klopp likens Liverpool's clash with Man City to a Champions League tie

By Sports Desk March 31, 2023

Jurgen Klopp likened Liverpool's Premier League clash with Manchester City to a Champions League tie ahead of a crucial game for both teams.

While this fixture in previous years was a potential title decider, Liverpool have fallen behind their rivals this season and face a stern fight in order to secure a top-four finish.

City, meanwhile, can temporarily close the gap upon leaders Arsenal to five points with a victory, with the Gunners hosting Leeds United later on Saturday, in their bid for a potential treble.

Although the two sides have different objectives heading into the final stretch of the Premier League season, it remains a match where tempers could flare given the rivalry that has developed in recent years.

Sat seven points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, with two games in hand, Liverpool face a battle to return to Europe's elite competition next season but Klopp feels this fixture has the same feel to it.

"It's a super important game. That's the one thing not different to all the other years," he said in Friday's press conference.

"We know it's a massive game, a massive week coming up. For tomorrow they deserve all the attention – we can't think about the other games.

"It is like a Champions League week. I'm super excited. We are not dumb. We know the last game against Real Madrid wasn't a good game, before that at Bournemouth wasn't a good game, the one before [a 7-0 win over Manchester United] was world-class.

"We have to pick up from there and react to the other two games."

City could be without Premier League top scorer Erling Haaland for the clash at Etihad Stadium, with Pep Guardiola staying tight-lipped on the striker's fitness, but Klopp knows the defending champions boast a threat even without their leading man.

"When you prepare a game, you prepare all things to avoid the final pass – which is where Erling really comes into the game," he added.

"He is a proper striker, but they became champions without a striker. That's how it is; you never know 100 per cent who can play."

Liverpool face a decisive week in their top-four push, with the trip to face City followed by a clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge before hosting league leaders Arsenal at Anfield next Sunday.

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