BY SOLAPE LAWAL-SOLARIN
REDS Coach Jurgen Klopp is not only anticipating the clash against Manchester City but, also braced for the stern test Pep Guardiola’s side will offer at Anfield when both sides clash today.
The Reds retook the second spot from the Citizens after see- ing off Mark Hughes’ Potters at home in midweek and are now primed to cement their second spot against the visitors as both sides continue to chase table topping Chelsea.
An excited Jurgen Klopp was caught on the sidelines celebrat- ing the Reds’ emphatic win over Stoke last time out as the Merseyside outfit kept the EPL dream alive at Anfield.
Having watched Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and today’s opponent secure wins in their respective fixtures on boxing day, the Kops and their German coach knew a win against Stoke was non- negotiable in order to keep the momentum going at the EPL summit.
And against Gaurdiola’s side today, Klopp is ready to continue the streak.
City has always struggled against Liverpool, history and stats clearly favours the mer- seysiders. Hence, another win is likely on the card for the Reds.
Hear Jurgen Klopp after the Reds win over stoke:”It is a dif- ficult game for both teams but exciting, and the best thing is that it is at Anfield.
“They are an outstanding side, we are not too bad, so it will be a nice game. I respect them a lot but I was not in the City stadium this season or last season (as a spectator), only to play games.”
For Pep Guardiola, Liverpool offers the platform to evaluate his side’s recent resurgence. The Catalan had seen his meteoric rise-that saw him storm the EPL table with ten out of ten wins-come to a halt. Series of draws and defeats since the end of the international break had seen City stutter and drop points to hand Chelsea the upper hand before their mini- resurgence that had seen them scrap four wins consecutively to sit third on the table.
Against the Reds today, Guardiola would look to usurp Klopp and reclaim number two spot.
To accomplish this, he will have Aguero back-after the Argentine got a four-match ban for deadly tackle against David Luiz in City’s 3-1 loss to Chelsea-alongside rejuvenated Yaya Toure in the midfield and Nigerian prodigy, Kelechi Iheanacho to spearhead the attack.
Iheanacho should definitely make the squad after his goal and impressive display against Hull last time out.
For the host, Klopp has at- tacking talents in abundance.
Liverpool did not show any sign of Coutinho nolstagia. The maverick midfielder has been missing due to injury but, the likes of Firmino,Sadio Mane, Divock Origi and Adam Lallana have kept the team buzzing.
Hence, they would be expect- ed to go for the Citizen under the tutelage of their outstanding captain, Jordan Henderson.