Liverpool must be ‘cheeky’ to beat Manchester City, says Jurgen Kloppe

Liverpool manager Jurgen Kloppé
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Liverpool manager Jurgen Kloppé

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said his squad should be brave but also “weird in moments” when the English Premier League leaders host the defending champions at Anfield on Sunday.

Liverpool top the league – although five teams are just one point behind after six rounds – despite a less significant off-season than the expense of rivals such as City, Chelsea and Manchester United.

The Merseyside club’s big buy was $50 million on German club Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate.

City broke British transfer fee records to sign midfielder Jack Grealish, paying Aston Villa $139 million.

Romelu Lukaku returned $135 million to Chelsea in August.

United dropped $100 million to sign Jadon Sancho, and invested heavily in Rafael Varane, before bringing back Cristiano Ronaldo.

Conte, a French centre-back, has played only one Premier League game so far, thanks to the return of Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip from knee injuries.

“We are in good shape, that’s for sure,” Klopp said at a news conference on Friday.

“We’re in a good moment. That’s what you have to do to stand a chance against them. They’re still really, to me, probably the best team in Europe at the moment.”

This was the state of Liverpool’s defense the last time these clubs had midfielders Fabinho and Jordan Henderson in the centre. City won 4–1 that February for their first win at Anfield in 18 years.

“It’s a special game of the season every year,” Klopp said. “It has to be high intense, because if it’s not high intense, I would say it’s really difficult to play against City.

“You have to be brave,” he continued, “you have to stand out, you have to be cheeky in the moments, you really have to be the best version of yourself. And then, you have the chance.”

Speaking cheekily, Klopp opened the conference when asked about “James Bond” actor Daniel Craig, who had recently been highly praised for the German manager’s leadership qualities.

“I would be a really bad James Bond because if I walk out of the water in swim shorts I think this will be the moment the whole world stops,” Klopp said. “But no matter what, we all have to do our bit in life, he has to save the world and I have to help Liverpool from time to time.”