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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 October 2018

Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool must not used tiredness as an excuse against Manchester City

The German challenges his players to recover from Napoli loss for Sunday's match, while police confirm City will take different route to get Anfield to avoid repeat of crowd trouble in April

Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool to be at their best on Sunday to face Manchester City. Francesco Pecoraro / Getty Images
Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool to be at their best on Sunday to face Manchester City. Francesco Pecoraro / Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists his players cannot use their intense schedule as an excuse heading into their top-of-the-table Premier League clash against Manchester City on Sunday.

Klopp's men are second in the table, but level on points, with City going into the match at Anfield. Neither side has yet to lose in the league with the pair having identical records of six wins and one draw.

But it has been a tough past seven days for Liverpool as after losing in the League Cup to Chelsea a week ago, they then drew with the London side in the league, before they lost 1-0 to Napoli in the Uefa Champions League on Wednesday night in Italy.

City played on Tuesday night in Germany as they won 2-1 against Hoffenheim and will have an extra 24 hours recovery time compared to Liverpool, but Klopp said it is down to his players to be prepared for the challenge.

"It is a tough game, absolutely," said Klopp. "It is absolutely intense since the last international break. We cannot change that so we have to make sure we are ready.

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"We don't have to think about intensity. We have three days to recover and then we will face Man City."

Liverpool will also have to wait on the fitness of Naby Keita. The midfielder left the field in Naples on a medical cart in the 19th minute and was treated for an injury to his back.

But Klopp has warned his side they must be at their best against City and is confident that home support from the Anfield crowd will help them against Pep Guardiola's team.

"It would've been difficult any way at any time of the season, it is always difficult, but let's have a look how the players are after the (Napoli) game and then we will prepare," he said.

"Then we have our crowd at our backs. You could see Napoli used the atmosphere and we couldn't calm it down, but on Sunday it will be 100 per cent different."

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed City will use a different route when they travel to Anfield on Sunday following the violent scenes which greeted their team coach last season.

Merseyside Police have said they are determined to prevent a repeat of the trouble that occurred before the Champions League match between the two sides on April 4.

At least one window was smashed on the journey through streets that were filled with thousands of fans, a number throwing flares and smoke bombs, and a replacement vehicle had to be found for the trip home.

City have held talks with Merseyside Police about the measures which will be in place this weekend.

Extra police will be on duty at the match, it was announced on Wednesday.

Superintendent Dave Charnock said: "As with any match, we have prepared a comprehensive and appropriate policing operation ahead of Sunday's game and have liaised with both clubs and their supporter groups.

"This will ensure this game can be enjoyed safely by all as well as minimising any disruption to local residents and the roads, and everyone involved is working hard to ensure there is no repeat of the events that occurred outside Anfield before the Champions League fixture between the clubs in April.

"There will be additional officers on duty at the ground, both uniformed and plain clothed, and we will have a city centre policing plan in place throughout the day."