Football

'We're not the favourites'

Klopp has a lot of respect for Guardiola and is wary of a City backlash

MAN CITY LIVERPOOL

Liverpool should not be considered favourites when they travel to face Manchester City in the Premier League on Monday morning (Singapore time), manager Juergen Klopp said yesterday, 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 said.

"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."

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 Argentinian.

"To be active, you need to be brave. Monaco couldn't do it in two halves. Second half, (City) missed chance after chance." he said. "We cannot hope Aguero misses these chances."

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 Etihad clash while strikers Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi are doubts. The Reds will, however, welcome back defender Dejan Lovren, who has missed the 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.

We cannot hope Aguero misses these chances. Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp on Man City striker Sergio Aguero, who had an off-day in City’s Champions League loss to Monaco on Wednesday

Defender Bacary Sagna insists the Citizens will make amends for their Champions League misery by securing a crucial win against Liverpool.

Guardiola was criticised for his tactics and team selection in Monaco, but Sagna is adamant the blame lies with the players for failing to show enough fight.

"We forgot to fight as a team," Sagna said. "We are out and we have to recover because on Sunday, we have an important game. I expect a reaction from the team. I expect more desire, to show more passion.

"We have to recover because it was quite a difficult game and then we have to think about Liverpool." - WIRE SERVICES

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