Liverpool are under no illusions as to the importance of Sunday’s clash against Manchester City as they look to breathe life into their flagging title defence.
Despite consecutive victories over Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United—triumphs that suggested that the reigning champions had turned the corner, their recent home loss against Brighton & Hove Albion has left them seven points off the pace.
Liverpool have also played one game fewer than new league leaders Man City, and it’s imperative they take maximum points as they look to claw back their fierce rivals ahead of the run-in.
Liverpool and Manchester City meet Super Bowl Sunday with momentum and three golden points hanging in the balance in the Premier League. The last two league champions are set to do battle at Anfield, as City look to go five points clear atop the table with a victory. A win for Liverpool, meanwhile, would pull the Reds within four points of top-of-the-table City, while a loss would be a crushing blow to their title defense.
Date: Sunday, Feb. 7
Time: 11:30 a.m. ET
Location: Anfield — Liverpool, England
TV: NBCSN and Telemundo
Odds: Liverpool +245; Draw +255; Man. City +109 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
They [the two new centre-backs] have only had four sessions, so they were never going to start. Against City you have to defend a lot, that’s clear, but you have to play football as well and the two centre-halves [Fabinho and Henderson] are pretty good at that.
“Proper defending and brave football is what we want today. Keep them busy doing things they don’t want to do. They are so good in possession but we love playing against possession teams, because it gives you a chance to win the ball from time to time. Hopefully there will be other moments when we are in possession and can create ourselves.
In an ideal world, you have a few weeks and work together on defensive things, especially organisation and all these kind of things. Ben [Davies] and Ozan had yesterday an analysis meeting – and they trained – where they got shown all the stuff we do usually, like a centre-half movie.
“So today, proper session. Tomorrow, proper session and we will see. I don’t know yet.”
The manager was also quizzed on the potential benefits of moving Jordan Henderson back to a midfield berth now he has defensive reinforcements in Kabak and Davies.
Klopp said: “Yes, everything would help, everything helps.