“They scare me” says Guardiola, in episode six of Man City’s behind the scenes documentary All or Nothing where we were given a look at the inner workings of the eventual Premier League winners.
With Man City’s dominance evident – as we are used to with each Guardiola team – it is an unusual sight to see the best manager in the world to be openly fearful of any other team.
Everyone who sees Man City play knows the quality they have on offer. They are one of the few squads in the world that can boast 2-3 world class players for each and every position. So regardless of injuries and suspensions, such as the loss of big signings such as Mendy or star players such as De Bruyne, little actually changes on the pitch.
Klopp’s Liverpool have improved every year since he has been at the helm and are one of this year’s favourites to win the Premier League after an impressive start. Klopp’s failures in the past have been against “lesser” teams where too many draws meant that Liverpool could only finish fourth last time out, albeit because of a fantastic Champions League run.
The rivalry between these two managers goes back a long way. Ever since Klopp’s Dortmund ruined Guardiola’s Bayern Munich debut in the German Super Cup, Jurgen Klopp has become the thorn in the Spaniard’s side with his style of Gegenpressing and high work rate, pushing his players through the pain barrier to give their all on the pitch, giving him a win percentage of 57% against Guardiola’s teams.
To put this in perspective, Jose Mourinho has played 21 matches against Pep and has only managed 5 wins in that time, drawing six and losing 10, giving him a win percentage of 24%.
Pep’s trophy cabinet is a lot more comprehensive than the German’s, with Klopp famously struggling to see out finals and turn draws into wins. But Klopp has a knack of getting his players ready for the big games. And Sunday’s game amongst the joint Prem leaders will see the winner move 3 points clear at the top.