English Premiership

Klopp expects defence to decide City showdown

2016-12-30 16:46
Jurgen Klopp (Getty Images)

London - Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says the team that avoids making costly defensive mistakes will win Saturday's showdown with title rivals Manchester City.

Klopp's second placed side have scored 45 goals in 18 Premier League matches, while third placed City have hit the back of the net 39 times.

But both teams are less impressive at the back and Klopp believes the key to winning at Anfield this weekend will be finding a way to cut out careless errors in defence.

"I think it will be a little bit about how we protect our own attacks because both teams are pretty good on the counter-attack," Klopp said on Friday.

"Both teams are good in possession so we have to defend at our highest level. The detail will make the difference.

"It is nice to think about what you can do in the game and what you want.

"We beat them last year but we lost the League Cup final unfortunately.

"They have got better since last year but we are getting better too.

"It will be a different game to last year. We cannot play like last year, they will not play like last year."

City manager Pep Guardiola has leading scorer Sergio Aguero available for selection after a lengthy suspension.

The Argentina striker has 16 goals in all competitions and Klopp is wary of the damage he can do to Liverpool's hopes of closing the six-point gap to leaders Chelsea.

"I hope Pep gave him the opportunity to have three-and-a-half weeks off (during his suspension)," Klopp added.

"Somewhere with good weather, Argentina is good at the moment I think. He is back and a good striker, obviously.

"We have played them already and he was involved and I always thought that he is quite a talented boy, I never made a secret of it.

"Now he is back in the team with a lot of other really good players that makes life not easier for us.

"But we knew it before and even when he is not playing they are an outstanding team."

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