It’s difficult to tell whether Jurgen Klopp is deflecting pressure away from Liverpool and onto Manchester City or speaking openly and honestly when he said the latter “looks like the best team in the world” this week.
Whether or not it’s true is a different debate altogether, as managers say things to the public which they do not truly believe all the time. In this instance, Klopp could be hoping to put all the pressure in the world onto Man City, the defending champions and holders of countless records from last season, after it was his Liverpool side that coughed up a seven-point lead earlier in the season and must now hope their counterparts slip up and give them another shot at the Premier League title — quotes from the Guardian:
“City look like the best team in the world, that’s how it is. Barcelona struggled a little bit [against Villarreal on Tuesday], but still did the job. Juve look pretty impressive in Italy but you don’t exactly know how it will be in the Champions League if Cristiano Ronaldo cannot do it. With City, those are the three big Champions League favorites and you think, ‘OK, City look a bit more stable than all of them.’
“But that doesn’t mean they will win all their games. I can imagine people think that, but it doesn’t make it more likely. I don’t care, I don’t bet, I’m not interested in odds. I’m just interested in our games and we cannot do more than win our games. We will try to win them with all we have. We were really happy after Sunday [beating Tottenham 2-1], but we knew pretty quickly Southampton was the next challenge, then Porto, then Chelsea, then Porto again. There is a lot to come and the only thing I can say is that we try everything to be really ready for that fight.”
With six games left to play for each side, City hold a one-point advantage over Liverpool. The Reds’ remaining schedule offers up fewer challenges against top-six opposition — only sixth-place Chelsea remain — while Man City host Tottenham Hotspur and visit Manchester United in back-to-back games later this month.
Does Klopp really mean it when he says City look better than the rest of the world, or is he firing up the mind games with under two months left in the season?