Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has dismissed suggestions that facing Manchester City does not pose the same challenge as in previous years.
Pep Guardiola’s side have already lost 5-2 at home to Leicester, drawn at Leeds and West Ham and are five points behind their table-topping title rivals, although they do have a match in hand.
They go into Sunday’s game without Sergio Aguero, who has scored in all seven of his appearances against Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium, but Klopp doesn’t see it as any less of a difficult task.
‘I really don’t want to speak about us but it is obvious that it is not too easy to play against us, but the challenge with City is always the way they play with the players they have so that makes it really tricky,’ he said.
‘There are other teams that are really good. If we were now to face Bayern Munich, they are in a pretty good moment for a while already and I wouldn’t say that is a Sunday afternoon walk in the park.
‘It is just in England with all the quality of the other teams, massive quality, if you think about it, all the challenges in the game – what you have to be aware of and think about and what you have to do – it is City because they have a good plan, a clear plan and in each position a player who has the physicality and the technique to make a difference.
‘They play a specific way, they are pretty dominant, but if they have to counter-attack they are pretty strong so they have speed and creativity and that is not so cool when the other team has that and make it pretty tricky.
‘And that is why I said it, it is 100% like this, I don’t think anybody else would see [it] differently apart from a few journalists who always react on a moment, “Ah, but in a moment they are this or that”.
‘But, actually they are in really good shape. If you don’t use all your chances that can cause you a problem results-wise but for me it is important that they had all these chances because that is what I have to think about and not if they finish them off or not because I know they will finish them off from a specific point.
‘We just have to make sure it doesn’t happen on Sunday and they will not have that many.’
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