'Pep Guardiola is the best coach in the world': Jurgen Klopp

Manchester City host Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday with just a point separating the top-two teams

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp stated that the task that faces him this weekend is the toughest in the game.

The Reds take on Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday in what is being seen as a virtual title-decider between the two in-form teams.

Second-placed Liverpool are just one point behind leaders City with eight games left for both teams, having fallen behind by a whopping 14 points in January.

A defeat at the Etihad Stadium for Liverpool, or even a draw, would make reigning champions City the title favourites.

Liverpool are chasing an unprecedented quadruple this season, but know that even a record haul of points might not be enough for the trophy; in 2018-19, City pipped Liverpool to the title by a point despite the Reds' record points haul for runners-up.

For Klopp, City are by far the toughest opponent his team will face as they chase a quadruple.

"There is no game in world football you can compare to play against City because they are good in pretty much all areas. There are no real weaknesses," Klopp said on Friday.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp, left, and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola shake hands before the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, Sunday March 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)

"You have to show the respect they deserve, especially against City as they are pretty good with the ball.

"We know it is tough. What's changed this last four years is everyone else thinks it is tough when they face us, and that's really good.

"Nothing to worry about the mentality of my boys. After the [Benfica] game immediately the boys were clear 'Now it's City time'. We will be prepared."

While Manchester City have won the title three times since Guardiola arrived in 2016, there are some who question his record in European football. But for Klopp, there is no confusion about it.

"Pep is the best coach in the world. I think we would all agree on that and it might be a coincidence that it didn't work out in the Champions League so far," Klopp said.

"If anybody doubts him, I have no idea how that could happen."

The manager said taking on a consistent and top-class team like City, under Guardiola, has helped Liverpool raise their own standards.

"The last four years since we stepped up a little bit and could close the gap to City is interesting.

"We pushed each other to incredible points tallies. Madness. I would have never thought these kind of things were possible, especially not in this league. The consistency both teams showed in that period was absolutely crazy."

Sunday's game is being billed as a title decider but Klopp insists the race will be far from over, whatever the outcome.

"I can't decide what people think. But if you go through the possible results: if we win we are two points ahead and if everyone thinks that's done and dusted with the league then I cannot help," he said.

"If we lose we are four points behind. And if anyone thinks 'that's it' then I cannot change it but I know no-one from a City point of view would think like that. If we draw it's one point behind and that's it."

Man City v Liverpool matches since 2012

Updated: April 08, 2022, 11:59 AM
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