Liverpool v Manchester City preview: Sergio Aguero out for City
Last Updated: 04/04/18 6:24pm
Jurgen Klopp says it is not about being "the best team" when it comes to Liverpool's Champions League quarter-final with Manchester City on Wednesday, but that preparation will be key.
The Reds, who face Everton on Saturday live on Sky Sports, have reached this stage of the competition for the first time since 2008, when they lost to Chelsea.
Liverpool are the only side to have beaten City in the Premier League this season, but Klopp said he was "not interested" in looking to the past to predict how the two-legged tie will pan out.
He said: "We wanted to go as far as possible in this competition, and so it was clear at one point you have to face the best teams in the world.
"That's how it is, there's no easy game, no easy opponent or this stage, they're all difficult to play and now we have Man City, who are a special team.
"That's the truth, they deserve to be champions of the Premier league, but in football it's not about being the best it's about being perfectly prepared for the next game to do your best. It's not about yesterday, it's about tomorrow."
Manchester City can wrap up the Premier League title earlier than any team has before if they beat Manchester United on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.
However, they lost their most recent meeting with Liverpool 4-3 at Anfield, having beaten them 5-0 at the Etihad earlier in the season.
"Of course I consider what is the value of Liverpool and their qualities and I am concerned about what they do," said manager Pep Guardiola. "I am not so arrogant. But if you think about defending 90 minutes and play on the counter, that's not gonna happen. Why should we change when it's going well so far?"
With Joel Matip out for the season and Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez sidelined, Klopp's only available senior centre-backs are Dejan Lovren and Virgil van Dijk.
Adam Lallana's hamstring injury sustained at Crystal Palace on Saturday will keep him out for several weeks, while fellow midfielder Emre Can is unlikely to recover from a back problem in time.
City will continue to be without striker Sergio Aguero due to injury.
However, left-back Fabian Delph is available after recovering from an injury that has ruled him out since February and centre-back John Stones should be available again after a head injury
Liverpool and Manchester City will meet for the 179th time in all competitions, but this will be their first meeting in European competition.
Jurgen Klopp has won five matches against Pep Guardiola in all competition - more than any other manager (excluding shootouts) - with two of these victories coming as Liverpool manager (in four attempts).
Liverpool have not lost a home match in European competition since October 2014 (0-3 vs Real Madrid) and are now unbeaten in 14 European games at Anfield (W9 D5 L0).
Manchester City will be appearing in a Champions League quarter-final tie for only the second time - the first occasion was in 2015-16 when they progressed over two legs versus Paris Saint Germain, 3-2 on aggregate.
Liverpool are the top-scoring team in the Champions League this season following the quarter-final stage (28 goals). The record tally of goals by an English team in a single Champions League campaign is 32 by Manchester United in 2002-03, while Liverpool's club record is 29 goals in 2007-08.
Mohamed Salah has had a hand in seven goals (six goals, one assist) in eight Champions League appearances so far this season. Before 2017-18, he'd scored three goals and assisted none in 15 appearances in the Champions League (for Roma, Chelsea and Basel combined).
Charlie Nicholas' prediction
Well, can we have another 4-3? Anything is possible when these two meet, although I think there will be a bit of an adjustment from City's approach.
I think City will be more reserved and compact as last time Liverpool cut through the middle of them, so they'll want to force them out wide.
Yes, Liverpool deserved to win when they met here in the league, but there were crazy spells where either side could have run away with it.
This is a game where Mohamed Salah can cement himself as the PFA Player of the Year and leave Kevin De Bruyne to be content with just the Premier League title and a League Cup win.
However, I still think this tie will be alive if Liverpool win 3-1 and I think there will be everything to play for in the second leg.
Charlie predicts: 1-1 and Salah to score first (22/1 with Sky Bet)