Klopp teases Guardiola over ‘5-5’ Man City tweet and says Liverpool have learned from ‘the world’s best coach’

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp expects anything but a 5-5-0 formation from both sides against Manchester City in their Premier League title match.

The two teams clash at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday with the title’s fate potentially at stake. City are currently at the top, one point ahead of Liverpool. A victory for both sides would therefore move them a big step closer to glory.

Liverpool are in better shape on their way into the match. They have won five matches in a row in all tournaments and 10 in a row in the Premier League.

City, meanwhile, have lost one and drawn two of their previous 10 games. Both teams meet after Champions League duty on Tuesday.

liverpool managed a storm in the second half against Benfica to gain a 3-1 advantage in their quarter-final. City had it all in their own way against Atletico Madrid, but could only manage a 1-0 victory.

Boss Pep Guardiola aired his frustration over the “5-5” formation employed by Atletico boss Diego Simeone. But Klopp insisted both sides will look to attack on Sunday.

“I’m not worried about my boys’ mentality,” the manager told a news conference. “Over the years, we really learned to be part of the game, but that does not mean you forget the game after.

“After [Benfica] match, the boys were clear that it’s City time. From a football point of view, it helps that both teams do not play 5-5.

“There may be moments where we have to do that, I’m not sure. We want to be prepared, we both played on Tuesday, so we’ve had enough time to prepare for the match, to recover.”

Klopp added that he “can not help” people who believe that a victory for Liverpool will lead to them securing the title. Similarly, he claimed that City fans will not dream of honor after victory.

But Klopp concluded that their recent clash is a product of an intense and growing rivalry over four years.

And the Reds chief added Guardiola – which he called “the best coach in the world” – has made Liverpool better.

Klopp credits Guardiola for Liverpool’s rise

“In sports, what helps you the most is a strong opponent, especially in the long run it helps you the most,” Klopp said.

“[Rafael] Nadal and [Roger] Federer greatly enjoyed the rivalry they had. I’m not sure they would still be playing if they had won the tournaments on both sides.

“I do not want to say that I am grateful that City is so good, but it did not deny our development.”

He added: “The last four years we closed the distance to City, we pushed each other to incredible scores. I never thought that kind of thing would be possible, especially in this league.

“The consistency that both teams show during this period is absolutely wild. The closer you get, the more likely you are to overtake. But we know it’s hard.

“What has changed in four years is that everyone thinks it’s tough when they play against us, and that’s really good.”

Liverpool and City drew 2-2 at Anfield earlier in the season in an end-to-end thriller.


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