Guardiola ready for ‘proper battle’ with Liverpool, while Klopp urges Reds to enjoy title race
After all, where the EPL title ends up residing this season could well be decided next Sunday, with the winner of the City vs Liverpool game heading into the title run-in with destiny in their own hands.
Given the massive importance of the match, featuring the two most attacking teams in the league who between them have scored 147 goals this season, this fixture is perfectly set up for a boring goalless draw.
City, who beat Burnley 2-0 yesterday, are currently one point ahead of Liverpool, who also picked up all three points with a win over Watford.
While Pep Guardiola’s men barely broke a sweat in swatting aside Burnley, the Spaniard knows they will have a much tougher time against the Reds, as he warned his players to expect a ‘proper battle’ against Jurgen Klopp’s side.
WATCH: Guardiola speaks about title race ahead of Liverpool clash
“The next Premier League game we will play against Liverpool so we know they are going to win almost all the games - hopefully not the next one - but we will try to do the same,” said Guardiola.
“When you arrive in May challenging to lift the title it means you have had an incredible season. Being here is because we work a lot and we have done that every single season.
“That is a lot of credit for the whole organisation. We will fight. The opponent is so tough and good, but they said we will make a proper battle and we accept that.”
Despite their inexplicable habit of losing to Tottenham Hotspur, City have garnered quite a bit of experience with coming through in clutch moments during their title run-ins.
And Guardiola is hopeful that this will put his side in good stead, as he said: “People say 'experience' when you are old but it works when you get good lessons and you learn from them. What you have done in the past doesn't mean it will happen again.
“Every game will be like this. We need to play these games with this target and we will try.”
Meanwhile, Klopp moved to ease the pressure on his players ahead of next week’s match, with the Anfield outfit looking to eclipse Manchester United’s treble-winning season by winning the quadruple this year.
WATCH: Klopp appreciates situation Liverpool are in
Instead, the German tactician urged his players to ‘enjoy’ the situation that they find themselves in at the moment (because in football, one day you can be the cock of the walk, the next day a Manchester United).
He said: “It's all fine like it is, so now enjoy the situation. We are not favourite in one of the competitions we are in, but who cares? We will give it a try.
"You can't give an inch, but being on top? I don't think about that, I was happy to win the game (against Watford).
“To keep in the title race we have to win our football games, it will be really tricky. The next Premier League game is a big one, we can't hide from that.”