Jurgen Klopp Says Liverpool's Clash with Manchester City Is a 'Want-to-Win Game'

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IINovember 7, 2019

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League group E match between Liverpool FC and KRC Genk at Anfield on November 05, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said on Thursday that the Reds' Premier League clash with champions Manchester City is a "want-to-win game." 

The Reds head into the fixture six points clear of Pep Guardiola's side at the top of the table, and Klopp gave his response when asked if the match was a "must-not-lose game" in an interview with Geoff Shreeves at Sky Sports:

"Maybe there are people who are smarter than I am and see it like this, but I don't. For me, it's 100 per cent a 'want to win game' - with all I have. I've never understood 'must-win' games because that doesn't change the chances.

"For us, as a team to prepare a game like this, you have to do the right thing again and again: being brave, playing football, defending for your lives.

"All the stuff around the game doesn't really affect us. We want to win, and we'll try everything to make that happen - which is difficult enough. The season will not stop after this, but it's a big one, we know that."

Liverpool were pipped to the title by a point by Manchester City last season, and the result of Sunday's match is likely to have an influence on where the title ends up at the end of the season.

Klopp's side held Manchester City to a goalless draw at Anfield last season but were beaten 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium. The victory proved to be a key moment in the title race as City cut the gap at the top to four points.

Guardiola's side can halve the deficit to Liverpool with another win on Sunday and also inflict a first Premier League defeat of the season on the reigning European champions.

However, Liverpool possess a formidable home record and will take some stopping:

Manchester City have managed just one win at Anfield since 1981 and have already suffered surprise defeats to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Norwich City.

The visitors may also have to cope without first-choice goalkeeper Ederson. The Brazilian was forced off with a muscular problem during their UEFA Champions League draw against Atalanta to add to a growing injury list:

There may also be an added edge to the game after Guardiola branded Liverpool forward Sadio Mane a diver ahead of Sunday's fixture:

Mane responded by telling Sky Sports "if it could be a penalty for sure I will 'dive' again," while Guardiola has since tried to clarify his comments:

All eyes will be on Anfield on Sunday as the top two meet for the first time this season in the Premier League. Victory for either side will increase belief they can finish the campaign as champions in what promises to be a tense encounter on Merseyside.

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