Liverpool plays down prospects for Man City clash - Klopp
REUTERS - Liverpool should not be considered favourites when they travel to face Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday, manager Juergen Klopp said on Friday, despite his side's impressive record against teams near the top of the table.
The Merseyside club are unbeaten against the other teams in the current top-six this season, winning five of their nine league games against City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.
"I don't think we are the favourites," Klopp told reporters. "That's not too bad. We know that we can be difficult to play in games like this, that's true. But we have to be at our best to get anything.
"I am really looking forward to this, it's a real tactical challenge. It's an important moment in the season, but I don't think we should involve this type of pressure. We know that it's possible to win."
City were dumped out of the Champions League by French side Monaco on Wednesday with striker Sergio Aguero having a rare off-day in front of goal but Klopp is not banking on another poor performance from the mercurial Argentine.
"To be active, you need to be brave. Monaco couldn't do it two halves. Second half (City) missed chance after chance. We cannot hope Aguero misses these chances," the German added.
Under-pressure City manager Pep Guardiola may have found an unexpected ally in Klopp as the Liverpool boss has nothing but praise for the Spaniard.
"I am not in doubt about his qualities. I respect Guardiola a lot. I have played him a lot and it is difficult to play his teams," Klopp said.
Injured duo Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge will miss the clash at the Etihad Stadium while strikers Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi are doubts.
Liverpool will, however, welcome back defender Dejan Lovren, who has missed the club's last five matches due to a knee problem.
Klopp's charges are fourth in the table with 55 points, one behind third-placed City, who have a game in hand.
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams)