Game against City will not determine Liverpool's title race, says Klopp

25 November 2023 - 08:10
By Lori Ewing
 Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp embraces Luis Diaz.
Image: Clive Rose/Getty Images Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp embraces Luis Diaz.

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said Saturday's top-of-the-table clash with Manchester City is so exciting he would tune in to watch it from anywhere in the world, but added one game does not determine his team's title chances.

“It's not a test on how close we get to City, it's just a really super exciting game, I would watch it wherever on the planet,” Klopp told reporters on Friday.

“We have to prepare for it properly and we know we have to be at our best to get a chance. We will see.”

Klopp's team have gone unbeaten in their last five games to climb to within a point of Premier League leaders City in the tight title race.

“A lot of games we were good and deserved what we got,” he said.

“We needed to get the points.

“With City, I don't know 100%, but they got a point here, a point there, stuff like this, unexpected ones. That's the quality they have, the desire to win the next one that's pretty special.”

City, who have 28 points after 12 games, have built a fortress at Etihad Stadium, winning 23 successive games there across all competitions.

“Man City are who they are and they're extremely strong and we have to be as strong as possible,” Klopp said.

The game should feature the league's two most prolific strikers in City's Erling Haaland, who tops the scoring chart with 13 goals this season, three more than Liverpool's Mohamed Salah.

Haaland, however, injured his ankle playing for Norway in a Euro 2024 qualifying game on Nov. 16 and trained “with niggles” on Thursday, according to City manager Pep Guardiola.

Liverpool are one of only two clubs Haaland has not scored against in the top flight.

Klopp praised the “pretty special partnership” Salah and Darwin Nunez, who joined Liverpool from Benfica in June last year, have formed on the forward line.

Nunez has assisted three of Salah's last seven Premier League goals.

“You can't become a Liverpool player if you're not football-smart,” Klopp said.

“Darwin and Mo look for each other but it's not like they cut out the other boys. It's just a different way of playing.

“Mo supports the boys. Darwin came here, big expectations, and Mo probably understood the situation best and saw his potential and wanted to help him. Without having the longest conversation, that was for sure the start of a pretty special partnership.”

Nunez scored three goals in two games for Uruguay during the recent international break.