Manchester City host Liverpool on Saturday but maybe without their top scorer.
Jurgen Klopp will not alter his preparation for Saturday’s trip to the Etihad despite doubts over the availability of Man City star Erling Haaland.
Klopp’s Liverpool travel to Manchester looking to keep themselves within touching distance of the top four and have been handed a boost with Darwin Nunez fit after he pulled out of international duty.
The city’s leading man also withdrew from representing his country when Haaland pulled out of the Norway squad with a groin issue. The 22-year-old is a doubt for Saturday’s game, with Pep Guardiola confirming on Friday that he will assess the striker over the final training session.
But the prospect of the City superstar being absent has not altered the way Liverpool is approaching the game, as Klopp pointed out. “Not too much,” he said.
“When you prepare a game, you prepare all things to avoid the final pass – which is where Erling comes into the game. He is a proper striker, but they became champions without a striker. That’s how it is, you never know 100 percent who can play.”
The dynamic of this meeting has changed this season, with Liverpool no longer battling City for the title and instead focusing on securing Champions League football next term. But that has not diminished the occasion or the standing of the fixture in Klopp’s eyes.
“It’s a super important game. It’s super important for City and us,” the German added. “I know it’s a massive game, a massive week, but for tomorrow they deserve all the attention. That’s how we approach it.
“It’s clear against City you have to be on top of your game, defend on a super high level and have to play football as well. That’s normal with the kind of dominance they can show. It is important not to forget you have to play football as well.”