Pep Guardiola says Jurgen Klopp "put me on another level; to think about it, to prove myself, to be a better manager." Klopp: "For me they're still probably the best team in Europe." Watch Liverpool vs Man City live on Sky Sports Premier League on Sunday; Kick-off 4.30pm
Friday 1 October 2021 22:14, UK
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes his rivalry with Jurgen Klopp has made him a better manager.
Guardiola faces his Liverpool counterpart live on Sky Sports Premier League on Sunday, as champions City travel to Anfield.
Guardiola said: "Jurgen Klopp's teams helped me to be a better manager. He put me on another level; to think about it, to prove myself, to be a better manager. That is the reason why I am still in this business."
Guardiola is expecting another strong title challenge from Liverpool this season.
"Since I arrived here - maybe not the first year - Liverpool were always there," he said.
"The last four years, all the time, we were both there. It's the biggest compliment that both clubs were there. But in the Premier League there are not just one or two, there are many teams who can fight for the league."
City's trip to Liverpool comes at the end of a tough week after away games at Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.
Asked how intense the week had been, Guardiola said at a press conference: "Unbelievably - but the level has been so great these games and, despite the result in France, the performance was excellent."
City claimed a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge but were beaten 2-0 in their Champions League clash in the French capital.
That Sunday's fixture is now regarded as one of the biggest games in English football underlines the progress City have made in recent years, Guardiola feels.
He said: "For us it's an honour to be a rival with Liverpool. Decades ago we weren't rivals to them. For many years we have tried to compete with these legendary clubs so it's an honour."
City won at Anfield for the first time in 18 years last season. With the game played during the coronavirus lockdown, it was said at the time that the lack of fans may have helped City but Guardiola insists he would rather play at a full house.
He said: "I'm very pleased Anfield is full again and we can go there to play a game. It's nice that the people are back and we can enjoy a fantastic atmosphere there. Hopefully we can handle it in a good way."
Jurgen Klopp described Manchester City as the best team in Europe and said his Liverpool side will have to be at their best defensively.
Liverpool are the only unbeaten team left in the Premier League and are top of the standings with 14 points, one point above defending champions City.
"We are in good shape, a good moment, but that's what you have to be to have a chance against them," said Klopp.
"For me they're still probably the best team in Europe. It's a tough one.
"Last weekend they played Chelsea and everyone was talking about how good Chelsea are. They are good, really good, but City were clearly better that day.
"To win the game we have to score goals, so what we have done in the last few weeks is helpful because we are confident in that department. But we have to defend at our absolute highest level to stay in the game and make sure the goals we score are the difference."
The Reds lost 4-1 at home to City last season and Klopp says their latest meeting will be a "complex football challenge".
"Manchester City are an outstanding football team," he said. "They lost against PSG, I only knew the result after Porto game and said they'll probably strike back.
"But after watching the game, they don't have to. Manchester City played a really good game which they lost in three or four situations, where they didn't use their chances and PSG scored.
"When you think about quality of PSG and the way Manchester City dominated, that says a lot about their quality."
Peter Smith is joined by Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp, as well as football writers Gerard Brand and Simeon Gholam, to look ahead to the Premier League weekend...
PART 1 | Jamie Redknapp explains why he thinks Liverpool will edge their big match-up with Man City at Anfield on Sunday. The Sky Sports pundit also discusses the rise of Curtis Jones and City's threat in attack.
PART 2 | We consider whether Arsenal are now in a position to build on their big derby day win over Tottenham when they go to Brighton. And what constitutes success for the Seagulls this season?
PART 3 | There's plenty of praise for Conor Gallagher as we discuss Crystal Palace's improving form and the Chelsea loanee's future, before we examine a slow start to the season from Leicester.