Jurgen Klopp has never been one for coach speak, and he’s not about to change ahead of the enormous game against Manchester City this weekend. Instead of claiming this is just another game in the long season ahead, Klopp has made it clear he wants everyone at Anfield up and ready to go.
Even down to the vendors.
“We have to play our best game,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference Friday morning. “Everybody in the stadium has to be in absolutely top shape. The guys who sell the hot dogs have to be in top shape.”
“It’s a big game. Two really good teams. Good news it is at Anfield, that is cool. Floodlights. Big game. We will see, everything is on a plate, so nobody hides. We cannot only be offensive but if we are not brave v Man City we have no chance. We have to create.”
Klopp wouldn’t go as far as to call this game a “title-decider” but when asked if it was of such stature, he said, “In the last two years it feels like each game we play is the most decisive of the season. There’s not one where someone has said ‘oh, you can lose that.”
He even went so far as to acknowledge a budding rivalry between the two clubs. “From a sports point of view it’s getting bigger and bigger. That’s how it is,” he said. “I’ve only been here four years, but we live with it now, Man City is a pretty good team, thank god there is a rivalry it means we are in a good place as well.”
Pep Guardiola acknowledged Klopp’s sentiments, calling Liverpool his biggest challengers. “For me as a manager I said last year when we won the league, it was my biggest achievement because we faced my best contender,” Guardiola said at his ensuing press conference. “Right now they are the strongest team in the world. We know what playing at Anfield means to them and their rivals.”
Still, Pep would not be drawn into the notions of grandeur that Klopp expressed. The Man City boss believes winning the title “won’t happen if we win [this] game. In November it is not the end. We have a lot of games still to play. We will fight until the end as long as we have games to play. It’s very difficult. Last season Liverpool lost one game, now they are unbeaten.”