Jurgen Klopp says Sunday’s clash with Man City at Anfield could be another 0-0 draw with both teams concerned about being too open.
Liverpool face the champions with a six-point lead and a victory would put a significant gap between the two sides, however Klopp was reticent to admit it was a title-deciding fixture.
The German coach, speaking at Melwood, was in a cheerful mood and opened up on how Liverpool will approach the game against Pep Guardiola’s men.
“It’s a big game,” said Klopp. “Two really good teams. Good news it is at Anfield, that is cool. Floodlights. Big game. We will see, everything is on a plate, so nobody hides. We cannot only be offensive but if we are not brave v Man City we have no chance. We have to create.
“Our positioning must be perfect all the time again, protection must be perfect. We really try to adapt to what the opponent is doing and make sure they cannot. It can lead to other things.
“It’s possible it could be 0-0 like last year, even with all these things. Depending on the formation, maybe you can’t be as creative or offensive (as normal).
“To be offensive you need a different formation, but if you have this formation and you lose the ball then the other team can use that. It will be an interesting football game.”
Asked whether the games against City would decide the title, he added: “I don’t know. I have no idea. Do I have to treat it like that? In the last two years it feels like each game we play is the most decisive of the season. There’s not one where someone has said ‘oh, you can lose that’.”
The Reds boss confirmed that Joel Matip, Xherdan Shaqiri and Nathaniel Clyne are still missing for Klopp, but Jordan Henderson and Virgil van Dijk, who missed training on Thursday, will be fit to face City.
Asked about Guardiola’s City team, he added: “I don’t admire other teams. I respect them. They have character of course. Combination of speed and technique. Plenty of players like that, organisation is good. It’s a really good team. Both our ways can lead to success. We will see who it will be.”