(Reuters) - Juergen Klopp is looking forward to Liverpool’s Premier League showdown against Manchester City after hearing that their manager, Pep Guardiola, was in attendance for his side’s 4-1 victory over Stoke City at Anfield on Tuesday.
Liverpool are second in the table, a point ahead of City after 18 games, but will hope to keep their title aspirations alive by beating Guardiola’s men on Saturday to stay in touch with leaders Chelsea, who hold a six-point advantage.
“It is a big game for both. I heard Pep Guardiola was here in the stadium tonight (Tuesday),” Liverpool boss Klopp told British media.
”I‘m not sure if he watched a lot of games in the last few weeks in other stadiums of opponents -- that is a first sign it is a special game and we are already looking forward to it.
”It is a difficult game for both teams but exciting, and the best thing is that it is at Anfield.
“They are an outstanding side, we are not too bad, so it will be a nice game. I respect them a lot but I was not in the City stadium this season or last season (as a spectator), only to play games.”
On the pitch, injuries have restricted Daniel Sturridge to a minor role in Klopp’s first-team plans this season, leading to speculation over the striker’s long-term future at Anfield.
Sturridge, however, insisted he was only focused on regaining his place in the starting line-up after scoring his first league goal of the season in Tuesday’s win.
“It’s nice to play and score goals. It’s important that the team keeps going and puts the pressure on. The most important thing is that I keep my mindset as positive as possible,” the England international told Sky Sports.
”It’s a team game at the end of the day -- everyone is going to be needed in the squad. I’ve not had any issues or problems within the camp.
“I‘m enjoying my football and when I get my minutes I focus myself, and if I‘m not in the team I stay positive and give my input when I can.”
Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru