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Jurgen Klopp on Erling Haaland vs Virgil van Dijk, vulnerable Liverpool and why Man City are football's toughest test

Jurgen Klopp speaks exclusively to Sky Sports about Erling Haaland vs Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool's vulnerabilities, and why Man City are football's toughest test. Watch Liverpool vs Man City live on Super Sunday from 4pm on Sky Sports Premier League; kick-off 4.30pm

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp discusses Mohamed Salah's form, Erling Haaland's striking performance and the upcoming game against Man City where he hopes they can earn needed points.

It's a Premier League showdown for the ages. The main course in a special serving of Super Sunday football.

Liverpool vs Manchester City has assumed blockbuster status in the English top-flight, but the first encounter between Erling Haaland and Virgil van Dijk adds another mouth-watering dimension to an already captivating contest.

Klopp and Haaland share an obvious bond having excelled at Borussia Dortmund before moving to the Premier League, and the similarities don't end there. While Klopp's transformation of Liverpool may not have been as instant as Haaland's start to life in Manchester, both have been seismic.

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"I'm not surprised [by Haaland's start to life in the Premier League]," Klopp exclusively told Sky Sports.

"It was not the missing link for Manchester City, but it was a position where City could improve, which was not good news for all of us. It's difficult for them to improve but that was the one position where they could, and they did."

Klopp: 'Incredible' Haaland 'a monster'

Comparisons can also be drawn between Haaland and Van Dijk. The Dutchman was the final piece of the jigsaw which took Liverpool to even greater heights under Klopp, and there is the expectation Haaland will do the same for the champions, however ridiculous that may sound given their four title successes under Pep Guardiola in the last five seasons.

It makes the first Premier League meeting between arguably the world's best defender and world's best striker an even more delicious prospect, though Klopp is wary that even if Liverpool and Van Dijk tame 'monster' Haaland, that's just the beginning of the job at hand.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp called Manchester City's Erling Haaland the 'best striker in the world at the moment' and believes he's found the perfect fit at his new club

"It's not like Haaland will go all the time for Virgil van Dijk, there will be another centre-half there, and he will probably choose that then," the Liverpool boss added.

"If Haaland was alone on the pitch you would still have to defend him, he's absolutely incredible. He's a monster in the best understanding.

"But with exceptional players around him, that's what makes it so special. How they set him up in those moments is really special.

"It's not possible to only mark Haaland and let the rest of Manchester City do what they want. If we do that, then we are screwed as well."

Klopp: Liverpool have looked vulnerable

Containing Haaland will be crucial to Liverpool's prospects this weekend, but the point Klopp raises is valid. Manchester City arrive on Merseyside as the Premier League's top scorers with 33 goals and will be licking their lips against a porous Liverpool defence which has already conceded twice as many goals - 12 - as at this stage last season.

Klopp acknowledged Liverpool's defensive struggles had given opposition teams encouragement in attacking areas but remained steadfast in his high-stakes belief that attack remains the best form of defence.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says his team will prepare the same as they usually do despite their distance in the table

"For sure teams think there are more chances against us because we have looked vulnerable in moments, that is how it is," he added. "If you win the last 10 games the opponent is not coming thinking they know how we can do it. It's a normal situation but it's up to us to change that, to close the gaps and close that door again.

"You cannot prepare everything. If you are in a build-up situation everything opens up on the pitch, that is why you should keep the ball there because that is where you are most vulnerable. We cannot change that. We are still Liverpool; we are a dominant football team."

Klopp: Man City the most difficult game in football

Liverpool's worst start to a Premier League season under Klopp has been capitalised upon by City, who have stormed into a 13-point lead over their main title rivals, casting doubt over the Merseyside challenge to the crown.

Despite this, Liverpool are unbeaten in their last four meetings with City in all competitions, and can become the first side to go five games without defeat against a Guardiola-managed side. It's a record which might fill some with confidence, but not Klopp, he's focused purely on getting points.

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As Liverpool and Manchester City are set for another Premier League showdown, take a look at some of the best goals the fixture has produced so far

"Our record against City has never given us comfort," he adds, dismissively. "I didn't know we hadn't lost the last four matches against them or didn't think about it.

"We never thought we knew how a game against City would go, we always know it's the most difficult game in football you can play but I always enjoy preparing the players. There is no guarantee but there is a possibility, and that must be enough."

On what a victory would do for Liverpool's season, Klopp concluded: "It would help. Points wise, we cannot be picky with the opponents we get points against, we lost enough already so we have to make sure we get some in.

"It would change the points tally massively in the best possible way. We know it will be difficult but no problem, we have Anfield behind us, let's hope we can use it."

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