Jurgen Klopp has called on everyone associated with Liverpool, from supporters to the hot dog sellers, to get fully behind their side in Sunday’s showdown with Manchester City.
The Premier League leaders welcome City to Anfield knowing that victory will move them nine points clear of the reigning champions with nearly a third of the season played.
Liverpool’s only loss in their last 50 league outings came against this weekend’s opponents in January as City overturned a seven-point deficit to win the title ahead of the Reds.
“The improvement the boys have made is obvious. We have to play our best game on Sunday,” Klopp said at Friday’s pre-match news conference.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 8, 2019
“Everyone in the stadium has to be in absolutely top shape – even the guy who sells the hot dogs has to be in the top shape. Get to the stadium early, wait for the warm-up, be there.
“You can’t make games bigger than they are already. At Anfield, that’s really cool. Everything is prepared for a really good football game. It will be one, but not sure for whom.”
The two sides have been involved in a number of tense matches in recent times, most recently August’s Community Shield clash that City won on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
— Premier League (@premierleague) November 7, 2019
Liverpool have lost only one of their last 28 top-flight home games with City and Klopp urged his side to “be brave” in the potential title decider.
“It’s a big game, two really good teams facing each other at Anfield, under the floodlights,” he said.
“The last three games we played 0-0 at home, then lost 2-1 at the Etihad where we nearly scored a goal and then the last one was a draw in the Community Shield, before we lost the shoot-out.
“It will be a good football game. I’m not sure whether it will be just from a coaches and tactical point of view or a spectacle one for supporters.
Balance is everything. pic.twitter.com/i3Cz6pyjq9
— Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) November 7, 2019
“But everything is on a plate and no one hides anything, we cannot only be offensive but you have to be brave against Manchester City – even for a point.”
The Champions League quarter-final meeting between the sides in April 2018 was marred by unsavoury pre-match events that saw City’s team bus come under attack from Liverpool fans outside Anfield.
Merseyside Police has assured City’s players and staff that steps have been taken to avoid a repeat this weekend, though Klopp can understand the visitors’ concerns.
“If someone from City worries still, it’s our fault,” he said.
“We didn’t all throw bottles [at the coach], but it was one of us. All of us have to make sure that something like that never happens again. We will do everything to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“It’s long ago and since then nothing has happened. I don’t think it was Man City specific. After the punishment we got, we haven’t had a similar situation – the positive outcome of something like this.
“The welcome is a nice part of football, but if you overstep the line then it’s not allowed that you do it any more. That’s how it is.”