Klopp: City-Liverpool rivalry like Federer-Nadal
Jurgen Klopp has likened Liverpool‘s rivalry with Manchester City to the competition between tennis legends Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal.
Liverpool meet City on Sunday in a top-of-the-table Premier League clash that will likely play a key role in deciding the outcome of the title race. A City victory would give them a four-point lead with seven games left while Liverpool would overtake their rivals with a win.
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“The last four years we’ve stepped up a bit closer to City. We’ve pushed each other to incredible points tallies, I never thought it would be possible in this league,” Klopp said. “The consistency both teams have shown over the period is crazy.
“In sport, I think what helps the most is a strong opponent. In the long term, especially.
“I think Nadal and Federer enjoyed the rivalry they had. That’s how it is in sport. I wouldn’t say I’m thankful City is that good, but it didn’t harm our development.
“I’m expecting a good game. I know that doesn’t happen often when two top teams face each other. Our history with City shows that very often they have been a pretty interesting watch because both teams really go for it.
“If we win we are two points ahead, we lose we’re four points behind. If it’s a draw, one point behind – that is it. Does anyone think that’s done and dusted?
“This is a very important game. If we were 14 or 15 points behind it will still be a good game. We’ve qualified for a good game with the season we’ve played so far.”
Klopp also heaped praise on City boss Pep Guardiola, saying his opposite number was “the best coach in the world.”
“We all would agree on that,” Klopp said. “If anybody doubts him, I have no idea how that could happen.”
Klopp added that he had a fully fit squad at his disposal.
Liverpool, who have not won any of the last four meetings between the teams, will be looking for a first league victory at the Etihad Stadium since 2015 when they travel to Manchester on Sunday.