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Klopp before the match against Manchester City: "The most violent phase of the year is yet to come"
Nevertheless, Liverpool coach Klopp remains calm ahead of Sunday's home game against Manchester City. "If we win the match on the weekend, but then no longer a game, then that has no value at all," he told the broadcaster Sky Sports. "It's a huge game, but I'm not involved in the discussions around it."
The Premier League season has 38 games. Nevertheless, before the 12th matchday in some British media already read of a possible preliminary decision in the title fight. Too early, also finds Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan. "No matter how the match is going to end, the duel will not decide the championship prematurely," said the DFB pro of the German Press Agency. "For this you can, for example, at the turn of the year around too much time five or six points left."
This is confirmed by Klopp. "The most violent phase of the year is yet to come", he stressed. "And we do not think too much about the impact of the match against Manchester City on the rest of the season." In December, Liverpool has a busy schedule due to the Club World Cup, and in between will compete with two different teams in the unlikely League Cup and at the Club World Cup in Qatar within 24 hours.
Record speaks for Liverpool
In the league, the Reds have won all but a draw, all games only at the last minute, as most recently in 2-1 against Aston Villa. "Liverpool are playing more consistent football this season and so far they have managed to win tight matches in the end," admitted Gundogan, who has already conceded two defeats with City. Nevertheless, the national player says, "that a large part of our games were actually very good – with attractive football and not infrequently also with very clear victories."
The balance of the past years speaks for the hosts. In four of their last five duels at Anfield, Liverpool won against Man City – three times in the league, once in the Champions League. The last home game against City in October 2018 ended 0-0.
Before the next clash, the lead over the rival is six points. Goal scorer Mohamed Salah evokes memories of the preseason and premature title predictions. "We also talked about it in December last year when we were six or seven ahead," the striker said in the Sky Sports interview, warning: "If you lose two games, you'll be in trouble again."
At that time many thought the Liverpooler already on championship course. But just out of Man City collected the Klopp Elf their only season defeat, which was finally a decisive. In the end, Liverpool was one point behind Master City.
"However, looking at the table, we are aware that the game is of course very important," Gundogan said. "It's a very special game anyway, because I hardly ever see another European side that is better than the two teams that will play at Anfield on Sunday."
Liverpool FC – Manchester City: Ready for the Premier League Firecracker (Display)