All the action as Liverpool took on Manchester City in a huge game in the English Premier League title race.

Liverpool versus Manchester City has become the defining Premier League rivalry of the era, but it is playing to a different soundtrack to its predecessors.

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola spent the last 24 hours sending each other compliments of the season, the only hint of pre-match acrimony coming as they dispute who is leading the world's best team.

"Liverpool," says Guardiola.


"Manchester City," Klopp responded.

Each declared the other title favourite, while Guardiola's suggestion City will be out of the race if they lose on Friday has been received with such a large pinch of salt there will be no icy roads near Melwood this winter.

The mutual admiration is genuine. The pre-match compliments sound suspiciously forced.

"We say what we say because you ask," said Klopp.

"If we only prepared, Pep would not say to the players, 'If you lose it, now it is over'. Nobody speaks like that."

The good news for Klopp as he leads Liverpool into their biggest Premier League game for five years is he knows what is coming.

The bad news for Klopp as he leads Liverpool into their biggest Premier League game for five years is he knows what is coming.

"A thunderstorm," the Liverpool manager said, recalling his most recent trip to The Etihad for last season's Champions League quarter-final. Liverpool won, but they needed their survival shelter in the first 25 minutes.


"We were a bit lucky, we know that, because they scored a second goal that the referee disallowed," said Klopp.

"That can be the situation again, but on the other side we are a different team. I don't want it to sound like a threat because it's not. It is just the situation.

"I don't prepare any game in the world by saying, 'last time there we smashed them.' That is just not right. We changed, they changed, the situation changed. The weather will be different, the pitch will be different, there is nothing to compare.

"To know you can do it is not bad. It is better than when losing five games there 10-0, but it does not help in a massive way.

"We have improved since last year, as we had to, but still this is the most difficult game to play because of their quality, the variations they are able to do and the different formations they can play. That makes it really special in the preparation."

- Daily Telegraph UK