Raheem Sterling moved from Liverpool to Manchester City in the summer. Rui Vieira / AP Photo
Raheem Sterling moved from Liverpool to Manchester City in the summer. Rui Vieira / AP Photo

Jurgen Klopp asks Liverpool fans to be ‘friendly’ to Raheem Sterling during Man City clash



Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling will be one of several players facing a former club when Liverpool visit on Saturday, but visiting manager Jurgen Klopp has played down the significance of the reunion.

Sterling, 20, felt the ire of Liverpool’s supporters after rejecting a contract offer from the club at the end of last season and subsequently joined City in a deal that could be worth up to £49 million (Dh274m).

The England forward’s conduct was criticised by Liverpool greats including Steven Gerrard and Graeme Souness and he can expect a frosty reception from the away fans at the Etihad Stadium, but Klopp said it will be nothing that has not happened inside a football ground before.

“That’s football. It’s normal in football that former players play against their old club or whatever,” the German said.

“It’s absolutely normal and nothing special. I don’t know how many friends Raheem had here or has here.

“He played here for a long time, had a good time here. I’ve heard no bad words about him. Good player, good boy, so (let’s be) friendly, shake hands, then it’s football.”

[Richard Jolly: Stepping stones hurt Liverpool fans as they travel to Man City to see Raheem Sterling]

After a quiet start to his City career, Sterling has hit form in the last month, notably netting a hat-trick against Bournemouth, and manager Manuel Pellegrini has been pleased by the pace of his adaptation.

“I always say that Raheem is a very young player. He must improve a lot and in important things,” he said.

“It is important also he can demonstrate it in every game, but I am very happy with the way he is playing so far.”

Liverpool drew the first three games of Klopp’s reign before reeling off three successive wins, including an impressive 3-1 victory away to defending champions Chelsea on the last day of October.

But they lost 2-1 at home to Crystal Palace in their last league game before the international break and go into the weekend seven points off the Champions League places in 10th place.

The consensus over the campaign’s opening weeks was that City were the division’s outstanding team as Pellegrini’s team won their first five matches without conceding a goal.

But their level has dipped since then as injuries have taken a toll and they have won only three of their last seven league matches, culminating in a 0-0 draw at Aston Villa on their last outing.

[Predictions: Manchester City too good for Liverpool, Chelsea earn a much-needed win]

It has allowed the chasing pack to close in and the concertina effect at the top of the table means that although City enter the weekend as leaders — above Arsenal on goal difference — they could be as low as fourth in the standings by the time the game kicks off.

The two-week international break has given City striker Sergio Aguero time to recover after seven games out with a hamstring injury and he is due to make his comeback against Liverpool.

Aguero’s Argentina teammate Pablo Zabaleta is also back in contention after a knee problem, but captain Vincent Kompany (calf), playmaker David Silva (ankle), midfielder Samir Nasri (hamstring) and striker Wilfried Bony (hamstring) remain sidelined.

While City’s fans will be delighted at the prospect of seeing Aguero back in a sky blue shirt, Liverpool could also welcome back their key striker if Daniel Sturridge can prove his fitness in time.

The former City man has not played for Klopp yet after hurting his knee in training and remains short of full fitness, but the German said there was a chance he could feature.

James Milner is also in line to play against his former club, having shaken off a hamstring problem.

Liverpool have not won at City in six league games — a run stretching back to October 2008 — but prevailed 2-1 when the sides last met at Anfield in March.

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Representing UAE overseas

If Catherine Richards debuts for Wales in the Six Nations, she will be the latest to have made it from the UAE to the top tier of the international game in the oval ball codes.

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Fiona Reidy (Ireland)
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At a glance - Zayed Sustainability Prize 2020

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Categories: Health, energy, water, food, global high schools

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Impact in numbers

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Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

The specs: 2017 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali

Price, base / as tested Dh207,846 / Dh220,000

Engine 6.2L V8

Transmission Eight-speed automatic

Power 420hp @ 5,600rpm

Torque 624Nm @ 4,100rpm

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Moving Out 2

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Anthony Joshua v Otto Wallin, 12 rounds, heavyweight

Deontay Wilder v Joseph Parker, 12 rounds, heavyweight

Dmitry Bivol v Lyndon Arthur, 12 rounds, light heavyweight

Daniel Dubois v Jarrell Miller, 12 rounds, heavyweight

Filip Hrgovic v Mark de Mori, 12 rounds, heavyweight 

Arslanbek Makhmudov v Agit Kabayel, 12 rounds, heavyweight 

Frank Sanchez v Junior Fa, 12 rounds, heavyweight 

Jai Opetaia v Ellis Zorro, 12 rounds, cruiserweight

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Maestro

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Rating: 3/5

Juliot Vinolia’s checklist for adopting alternate-day fasting

-      Don’t do it more than once in three days

-      Don’t go under 700 calories on fasting days

-      Ensure there is sufficient water intake, as the body can go in dehydration mode

-      Ensure there is enough roughage (fibre) in the food on fasting days as well

-      Do not binge on processed or fatty foods on non-fasting days

-      Complement fasting with plant-based foods, fruits, vegetables, seafood. Cut out processed meats and processed carbohydrates

-      Manage your sleep

-      People with existing gastric or mental health issues should avoid fasting

-      Do not fast for prolonged periods without supervision by a qualified expert

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Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
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Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

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