Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for his side's second-half transformation in Saturday's resounding 4-0 win over Southampton at Anfield.

The Reds were far from their fluid best during a chaotic first half and were lucky to not go in at the break behind, with Danny Ings, Shane Long and Nathan Redmond guilty of squandering presentable opportunities.

It was a different story after the interval, though, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain settling any nerves with a 47th-minute strike before a Jordan Henderson effort and two goals from Mohamed Salah sealed a 24th win in 25 Premier League games this season.

Klopp, whose side now hold a 22-point lead over Manchester City, was impressed with Southampton's display and accepts the result could have been a lot different had they taken advantage of their early chances.

He told a media conference: "First and foremost, I really have to say, wow, Southampton – what a team that is. I have been in football for so long and have never seen a turnaround like that.

"When I saw them playing at home against Chelsea months ago, I was really worried. That kind of turnaround is just exceptional.

"The set-up they have is constantly causing you problems. Their defending is really good and then their counter attacks are exceptional. [Danny] Ings and [Shane] Long, what they do there up front, how they are supported by the midfield and the wingers, is just exceptional.

"That's why we had the problems in the first half, because we lost the balls in the wrong moment.

"We had to change two or three things; most importantly we had to change the involvement of Fabinho. We played much calmer and used Fabinho better. It was just a better game and, in the end, we won it.

"The strange thing about this game is that it's not even too high a scoreline; it's just strange that Southampton could have won it as well. That just shows how difficult it was. Even more so, we are really pleased about the outcome."

Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl was delighted with his side's first-half display and hailed his players' ability to go toe-to-toe with the world champions for so long.

"Everybody who was at the game saw a very brave Saints squad and I would like to see this game again if we had scored the first goal," he said.

"I think for everybody it was fantastic to see that we can compete against such a team. It was a fantastic signal of how good we are and how it can go and how we can win."

Jurgen Klopp warned the Anfield factor will be "massive" as he urged Liverpool to set the tempo of Sunday's clash with Manchester United.

Liverpool had to come from behind to draw 1-1 at Old Trafford in October, spared defeat by Adam Lallana's late goal after Marcus Rashford fired United ahead.

United set up to counter-attack on that occasion, despite having home advantage, and their manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this week said his team had "found a nice way of playing" against Liverpool.

Those words could come back to haunt the Norwegian in the Premier League this weekend.

"Maybe they've found a specific way to play against Liverpool, but the difference between playing at Old Trafford and playing at Anfield is massive and we want to show that as well," Klopp said.

Rather than worry about teams 'parking the bus', Klopp's new mission is to stop the train - aware United's attackers can break at electric pace, just as they did to stunning effect in the derby against Manchester City in December.

"This game asks us for perfection. If you lose the ball at the wrong time, the train starts going and that's what is clear, but it's about us to make sure it will not happen," Klopp added.

The United draw remains the only game in which runaway leaders Liverpool have dropped points in the Premier League this season.

Klopp again pointed out his surprise at United's tactics in that previous meeting, and suggested he had no regrets over his comments about their fierce rivals' defensive approach.

"It's strange when you play against a high, high quality team, which is what United still is, and they played the way they play," Klopp said.

"We had it with Tottenham. After 70 minutes I think we had around 80 per cent possession. That's not normal. On the other hand, the counter-attacks are of the highest level in the world, that's for Tottenham and Man United for sure as well.

"I'm not saying they only counter-attack, but that's a main thing for them to do. If people want to see that as criticism, I cannot change that, but it's not, it's just a description of the situation."

Klopp said Fabinho and Joel Matip are fit to return to Liverpool's squad for the game after several months on the sidelines with their respective ankle and knee injuries, but Dejan Lovren will not resume full training until next week.

Fabinho expects to return to first-team action in the near future and warned Liverpool not to relent in their "incredible" season.

Defensive midfielder Fabinho has been absent since the end of November with an ankle injury, but Jurgen Klopp said on Friday he expects to have the Brazil international back in full training this week.

Liverpool have continued to shine in Fabinho's absence and a 1-0 win over Tottenham on Saturday moved them 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League, although Manchester City had a chance to trim that to 14 points on Sunday with a win over Aston Villa.

Speaking to Telefoot, Fabinho said: "I'm on the right path. We are in full recovery. I train individually.

"For example, I make changes in direction, but also exercises with the ball. I am very confident [about a quick comeback].

"I think I can resume soon, but we will see with the medical staff."

Roberto Firmino's first-half strike was enough to see off Tottenham as the Reds recorded their 20th top-flight victory in 21 games to take their tally to 61 points this term.

In the three-points-for-a-win era, that is the biggest haul any team in Europe's top five leagues has ever managed after 21 games.

But Fabinho is taking nothing for granted.

"We can win the title, but we are not yet champions. We are on the right track. What we have done so far is incredible, but we must continue," he added.

"I hope we will not crack. We have the confidence to continue like this. Despite the injuries, we continue to play at a high level."

Liverpool are back in action next Sunday when they host fierce rivals Manchester United at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp expects to have Fabinho and Dejan Lovren back in full training next week but James Milner and Naby Keita are unavailable for Liverpool's trip to Tottenham.

Defensive midfielder Fabinho has been absent since the end of November after sustaining ankle ligament damage in the 1-1 Champions League draw against Napoli.

Centre-back Lovren was enjoying a run in the team but has been out for a month due to a muscular issue, with Joe Gomez having impressed alongside Virgil van Dijk at the back for the unbeaten Premier League leaders.

However, both players are closing on a return that could come as soon as next weekend's clash with fierce rivals Manchester United.

"Dejan and Fabinho we expect to be back next week in full training, if that's early enough for the United game we will see," Klopp said. 

"They're working really hard, going through the paces, it's good."

Midfield duo Milner and Keita will sit out the clash in north London on Saturday due to muscle injuries.

"James and Naby are unavailable. Both muscles, different, and for different people," Klopp added. 

"Not a timeframe on it. We are open whenever they want to join us, when the medical team gives us the green light. Not this week, or next week, then we will see."

Klopp comes up against a familiar foe this weekend in Jose Mourinho, with Liverpool's 3-1 triumph over United in December 2018 seeing the Portuguese sacked by the Red Devils.

Liverpool boss Klopp is expecting to face a well-drilled Tottenham side, who will have to do without prolific captain Harry Kane.

"I'm expecting a very organised Tottenham side, yes," he added. "Putting some emphasis on defending for sure, using the counter-attacks, but team is too good technically to do just that.

"[Christian] Eriksen, [Dele] Alli, [Giovani] Lo Celso, lots of midfielders who can create situations, the speed they have with Lucas [Moura] and Son [Heung-min] too. 

"It could be [Serge] Aurier and [Ryan] Sessegnon are on the wings on top of that with speed.

" We cannot be 100 per cent sure what they will do but we have signs from what Mourinho did at Man United against us. Different teams and players though. That is normal. Our analysis always ends quite a way from the truth. It is the same for us, we want to be unpredictable.

"Mourinho is a world-class manager with a specific mindset. He wants to win. I respect that a lot. Each situation his team is in he tries to use. That is how managers work."

Jurgen Klopp has been hailed as the world's best coach by Salzburg boss Jesse Marsch, whose side are preparing to face Liverpool in a crunch Champions League clash.

Liverpool hold an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League after 15 games, having missed out on the title by one point last season.

That disappointment was tempered by victory in the Champions League, as the Reds claimed their sixth European Cup title.

However, Liverpool could miss out on the last 16 of this season's competition if they slip to a defeat against Salzburg – who, spearheaded by Erling Braut Haaland, have impressed in Group E.

Former United States midfielder Marsch, who was an assistant at RB Leipzig last season following spells of coaching in MLS, took over at Austrian champions Salzburg in June.

Salzburg currently lead the way in the Austrian Bundesliga, and Marsch has lauded Klopp as world football's leading coach.

"Jurgen Klopp is probably the best coach in the world right now," Marsch told Omnisport.

"I think you can fairly say that from the way his team is performing and the history he has in the game, and the way that he's had success in Germany and England.

"Trying to match up against his team is not so easy for us, especially when you talk about the talent that he has on the pitch. So what? We're going to play the game and it's going to be more about the two teams than it is about the two coaches.

"For me, it would not mean anything more to beat Klopp, it would mean a lot more for our team to be successful against this team, against Liverpool, against his team.

"That's the focus. I don't get too much into ego-driven, personal relationships. It's always going to be about our team and how good is our team on the day and how prepared are they."

Liverpool will be without Fabinho for Tuesday's encounter, with the midfielder having suffered an injury against Napoli which will keep him out until 2020.

Marsch, however, insists Liverpool will be no easier to play against.

"For me, Fabinho is one of their most important players. His ability to control the game with and without the ball and understand moments of the game is what makes them partly so good," Marsch said.

"But they've played without him a lot. They played without him last year in the Champions League. So they've been in this situation before without Fabinho.

"They have so many good, quality experienced players that I don't expect them to miss him too much, but he's certainly a key player for them."

Jurgen Klopp hopes Liverpool's fringe players can step up following the blow of Fabinho's ankle ligament injury.

The Brazil midfielder will be sidelined until the new year after suffering ankle ligament damage during Wednesday's 1-1 Champions League draw at home to Napoli.

Fabinho is the only specialist option in the holding role at Klopp's disposal, although Georginio Wijnaldum showed his adaptability by dropping back against the Serie A side.

Captain Jordan Henderson is another experienced option who can operate in front of the defence for the Premier League leaders, and either man reverting to that position would create opportunities in attacking midfield.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has impressed since returning from a serious knee injury and won back his place in the England squad, while Naby Keita, Adam Lallana and Xherdan Shaqiri have all had their opportunities limited by form and fitness issues.

"We have guys with a lack of minutes for different reasons like Shaq and Naby," Klopp told reporters ahead of Saturday's home game against Brighton and Hove Albion.

"We don't have the biggest squad in the world and now we have two defensive players in Joel [Matip] and Fabinho with long-term injuries.

"It's not cool. They all will play. It’s time to be there for all of us and all the boys especially.

"In our preparation for the Napoli game, we watched the game last season and Hendo played in that position then. Gini played in the position already. Adam Lallana played in the position.

"We can change system, we can do different things. Losing a player with the quality of Fabinho is big, massive, really bad. but we are not the only team in the Premier League with injuries.

"It's not cool but it was clear Fab couldn't have played all the games from now until March anyway."

Fabinho's injury is particularly ill-timed as Liverpool enter a busy December that includes their jaunt to the Club World Cup in Qatar after a decisive final Champions League Group match at Salzburg.

"December is always a tough period. We have had wonderful Decembers, but very average Januarys," Klopp added.

"So it is about going through and getting as many points as you can."

Jurgen Klopp admits it is a "massive" blow to lose Fabinho until 2020 but insists Liverpool will find a way to cope without the midfielder.

The Reds confirmed on Friday that Fabinho suffered ankle ligament damage in the 1-1 Champions League draw with Napoli at Anfield and is unlikely to play again before the turn of the year.

The Brazil international is set to miss Premier League games against Brighton and Hove Albion, Everton, Bournemouth, Watford, Leicester City and Wolves, as well as the final Champions League group game away to RB Leipzig, the EFL Cup clash with Aston Villa and the Club World Cup.

Klopp accepts there is no ready-made replacement for a player of Fabinho's qualities, but the Liverpool manager has no doubts about the suitability of Jordan Henderson or Georginio Wijnaldum playing in the role.

"Oh yes. It's bad news. Nothing good to say about that," he told reporters when asked about the injury. "How long it will take [to recover], we're not sure 100 per cent but it looks pretty sure he will not be involved in the Christmas fixtures.

"We have solutions for the position. We can replace him. We've played good without him, but now it's important to get him doing the right things and get him back as soon as possible. Until then, we have to find solutions. We're not the only team with injured players. It's what we have to deal with now and we will.

"We watched the Napoli game from last year and Hendo played the position, Gini played the position already, Adam Lallana played the position, we can change system… Losing a player of the quality of Fabinho is massive, really bad, but we are not the only team in the Premier League with injuries.

"You want to push that moment as far as possible towards the end of the year because with two weeks out, you miss six games. But that's not the case, we can't change it and we have to find a solution. Will it be exactly like Fabinho? Of course not, because nobody is like the other one, but it will be a good one. We have to play football and win football games again.

"It's not that nobody is as good as him. It's different quality. Gini came on in that position and was brilliant. We just have to make it work. Fab couldn't have played all the games from now until March. It's not cool, but we're in contact with him. We think a lot about it – not in the case of 'oh my God, how can we deal with it?' – just in the case of 'let's do the right thing for Fab, let's do the right thing for the team'."

A strength of Liverpool's this season has been the number of goalscorers they have had across the team in the Premier League, with 13 outfield players having scored at least once in their opening 13 league games.

Klopp, though, is not concerned about who is on the scoresheet provided they can keep up their form against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

"It's not too long ago we spoke about how we rely so much on our front three. I couldn't care less who scores - I'm really happy when the ball is in the net," he said.

"Of course, it's good, but I still think we could have scored more goals, to be honest. It makes us a bit more unpredictable but it's nothing I really think about.

"What I think about at the moment is we play Brighton, with a very, very exciting development. Graham [Potter] is doing a really good job. That's our issue, not who scores. After that game, pretty much everybody has this kind of three games a week coming up now. Brighton had a full week to prepare, they are innovative and think a lot about football and they will come here to try to get the points. We have to be ready three days after a very intense game against Napoli."

As the fixture list piles up, Klopp confirmed he plans to speak with Mohamed Salah, with Egypt's Under-23 coach claiming to be keen to take the forward to the Olympics next year.

"I'm not prepared for that answer yet to be honest," Klopp said. "Too many things happened since I first heard about it. When I leave the press conference, the first thing I do is ask Mo. Maybe next press conference we can speak about it."

Liverpool will be without Fabinho until the new year due to ankle ligament damage sustained during the 1-1 Champions League draw against Napoli, the Premier League leaders have confirmed.

The Brazil midfielder made way after 18 minutes of Wednesday's match at Anfield and must now sit out a potentially pivotal period of the Reds' campaign.

"Further assessment on the injury has discovered Fabinho will be out of action until the new year," a club statement read.

"The Brazilian will begin a rehabilitation programme with the Reds' medical team at Melwood as he works his way back to full fitness."

Jurgen Klopp's side will battle across four fronts over the next month, defending an eight-point lead at the Premier League summit.

A share of the spoils in midweek means they head to Salzburg on December 10 with qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League still on the line.

A scratch squad will take on Aston Villa in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup on December 17, a day before Liverpool begin their Club World Cup bid in Qatar.

Since joining for a reported initial fee of £39million in May 2018, Fabinho has established himself as a crucial part of Klopp's side – an integral performer in the holding midfield role.

Indeed, he is yet to finish on the losing side in a Premier League game he has started, having come on as a second-half substitute during January's 2-1 defeat to champions Manchester City.

Liverpool host Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday before welcoming Everton for the first Merseyside derby of the season next Wednesday.

Leicester City, who are second in the table, entertain the Reds at the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day in what will be a first game back in England following their Club World Cup exertions.

 

Sadio Mane believes winning the Club World Cup could give Liverpool the adrenaline surge they might need to drive home their Premier League title push.

Jurgen Klopp's side will have Flamengo among their trophy rivals in Qatar next month and have complicated their build-up to the FIFA tournament with Wednesday's 1-1 Champions League draw against Napoli.

A win would have made sure of a last-16 place with a game to spare, allowing manager Klopp to possibly rest some stars for the Group E finale at Salzburg.

Instead, Liverpool may need a point to be sure of qualification and a win to seal top spot, making the trip to Austria one with high stakes.

And with holding midfielder Fabinho nursing an ankle injury that could keep him sidelined for a significant period, Liverpool are a key man down.

It remains to be seen whether the Brazil international can return by the time the Club World Cup comes around, but Mane is in no doubt about the potential significance of that competition.

"To win games and win trophies motivates players all the time," the forward said. "Hopefully we're going to win it and give us high energy for us to go again until the end of the season."

Front-runners Liverpool have begun their Premier League campaign with a staggering 12 wins and one draw from their opening 13 fixtures, and they face Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield on Saturday.

A hectic December awaits, with matches and travel that should test their resources to the limit. Klopp will need to shuffle his line-ups, yet Mane is confident the Reds can overcome the obstacles in their way to make it a successful month.

He said: "We are Liverpool, we have a big squad. We have many players who can play. It's part of football and we have to deal with it. We know it won’t be easy.

"Tiredness is in the head. If the coach needs us, we'll play to help the team."

Mane dismissed any suggestion he threw himself to the ground in an effort to win Liverpool a first-half penalty against Napoli, after he went down when surrounded by defenders.

The appeals for a spot-kick were waved away, much to the hosts' frustrations.

"I think it was a penalty, sure. I wasn't diving like usual!" Mane said, with a chuckle, having been at the centre of subsequently retracted diving accusations from Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola at the start of this month.

Georginio Wijnaldum described the ankle injury sustained by Fabinho against Napoli as "a big blow' for Liverpool but vowed to be the perfect stand-in in a more defensive-midfield role.

The Netherlands international came off the bench to replace Fabinho in Wednesday's Champions League contest at Anfield in an indication he may fill the void despite having played a more advanced role for Jurgen Klopp's side this term.

But Wijnaldum appreciates the likely loss of Fabinho for a number of games, as Liverpool await clarity on the severity of the injury, comes as a serious setback to the reigning European champions and Premier League leaders.

"It's a big blow for the whole team, of course, and for him as a player," he said. 

"It's a situation you've got to deal with. Over the years we've had a few blows with injury and we just have to show that we can deal with the situation."

Fabinho has a crucial holding role to play at the hub of Liverpool's team, and it perhaps goes against Wijnaldum's attacking instincts to occupy that position.

However, he has done so studiously in the past, and when asked about the challenge of taking over from Fabinho, there was a twinkle in the eye of the Dutchman.

"I played there last season. Do you think I'm ready?" he told reporters at Anfield. "We just have to show that it doesn't affect us."

The exit of Fabinho after 18 minutes was swiftly followed by Dries Mertens firing Napoli in front with a terrific finish across goal from a tight angle, his strike so impressive it was hard to fault Alisson.

Dejan Lovren headed an equaliser midway through the second half, but it was not Liverpool's night. Klopp's charges were oddly pedestrian at times, and the 1-1 draw means they head to Salzburg for their final Champions League Group E match on December 10 as leaders, but still probably needing a point to make sure of a last-16 place.

Wijnaldum acknowledged it was a "frustrating" position, given Liverpool knew a win over Napoli would have made sure of their qualification and taken any edge off the Salzburg game.

"Of course you want it to finish early, but this is the situation. It comes to the last game," Wijnaldum said. "There's nothing we can change about it anymore so what we have to do is to deal with this situation and try to get a good result."

There was at least some relief in the Liverpool camp when linchpin defender Virgil van Dijk was able to shake off a blow to the ribs, which came from Mertens in the lead-up to Napoli's goal.

The sight of Van Dijk receiving treatment on the pitch caused anxiety in the stands and on the pitch too.

"Everyone was worried," Wijnaldum said. "I think he is [fine] because he finished the game. With Fabinho it's difficult to say because he went off."

Fabinho was left in pain with an injury as Liverpool drew 1-1 at home to Napoli in the Champions League, says manager Jurgen Klopp.

The Brazil international was hurt in the 14th minute at Anfield on Wednesday, needing treatment after he collided with Napoli forward Hirving Lozano.

Fabinho was substituted after initially trying to play on, and Klopp indicated the midfielder will need tests to examine the extent of his injury.

"I don't know. He has pain, so that's not good," Klopp told a news conference. "He couldn't continue, and he is a really hard one.

"I don't want to say what I expect, because I hope that it is not that serious, but we will know more maybe tomorrow, maybe the day after. We will see."

Liverpool missed the chance to secure a place in the next round of the Champions League, coming from behind to earn a 1-1 draw thanks to Dejan Lovren's header.

The Premier League leaders are at home to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

Liverpool were dealt an early blow in Wednesday's Champions League clash with Napoli as they lost Fabinho to an apparent ankle injury.

The former Monaco midfielder has been a key player for Liverpool this season, making 19 appearances across all competitions.

However, Jurgen Klopp's side were dealt a blow when Fabinho sustained a knock in the 14th minute, with the 26-year-old receiving treatment after Hirving Lozano toppled into him as a result of Dejan Lovren's challenge.

Fabinho attempted to play on, but to no avail, with Georginio Wijnaldum replacing him in the 19th minute.

Liverpool's frustration grew two minutes later, Dries Mertens racing in behind to coolly put Napoli ahead.

The Reds also had concerns over Virgil van Dijk, who claimed he had been fouled by Mertens in the build up to Napoli's opener, but the Dutchman carried on.

Moise Kean's stuttering start to life at Everton can be compared to how Liverpool regular Fabinho began his career at Anfield, says Marco Silva.

Kean was signed by Everton from Serie A giants Juventus for a reported fee of £27.4million (€30m) in the close season.

However, the teenager is yet to score a goal for the club, having made 11 appearances across all competitions so far, though only four of those have been starts.

He was left out of Everton's squad for the 2-1 win over Southampton earlier in November as punishment for missing the start of a team meeting, with Italy coach Roberto Mancini - who has dropped Kean for a similar lack of discipline in the past - subsequently advising the former Juve youngster to "find a club that lets him always play."

But Silva has confirmed Kean - who scored twice in Italy Under-21s' win over Armenia in midweek - will be in Everton's squad for Saturday's encounter with Norwich City, and has compared his first few months at Goodison Park to the struggles endured by Fabinho, who had to wait until late October to start a Premier League match for the Toffees' city rivals Liverpool last season.

"He wants to play more. Like all of the players we have," Silva told a news conference. 

"We have to look for him and all the games we have played and he has played. He has some starts in the Premier League, some in the EFL Cup, you are not talking about a player who didn't play at all.

"You have many examples of players with more experience than him coming to the Premier League and [at first] they didn't play.

"I think you have an example not really far, Fabinho, a player more experienced, a big amount of money, first six months, he didn't play. Most of the games he was in the stands.

"He's not the only example, I can give more, but the most important thing for Moise is to keep teaching him, for him to adapt as fast as he can. 

"Moise has all the support here. He has all the support from me, his team-mates. What is the most important thing is what I speak to him directly."

Brazil can feel the confidence Liverpool midfielder Fabinho has brought to the squad, according to coach Tite.

Fabinho made his 11th appearance for Brazil off the bench in a 1-0 loss to Argentina on Friday, having made an impressive start to the Premier League season.

Tite said the 26-year-old had added plenty to Brazil, who are on a five-match winless run ahead of facing South Korea on Tuesday.

"Fabinho has built a positive growing. All the times he played, he played very well," he told a news conference.

"And he brings confidence from his club to the Brazil national squad. In a natural way, and we can feel it. It's not that you can only see it, you can feel it.

"Fabinho is playing his normal football in a role that he also has at Liverpool."

Brazil are winless since lifting the Copa America trophy in July, putting some pressure on Tite at the helm.

Tite was criticised by Rivaldo after the loss to Argentina, the Brazil great unhappy with the decision to give Lucas Paqueta – who was substituted at half-time – the number 10 shirt.

However, Tite would not be drawn into firing back at Rivaldo, instead speaking of his respect for the former Barcelona star.

"I respect opinions, I don't give opinions on them. I learnt to respect them," he said.

"And I also have a very clear opinion on Rivaldo. He was a great player and the image that comes to me is of him controlling the ball on the chest and scoring in Barcelona. The most beautiful thing in this world. That's my opinion."

Liverpool midfielder Fabinho is not convinced the top-of-the-table clash with Manchester City will define the Premier League title race.

European champions Liverpool can take a commanding nine-point lead at the summit with victory in Sunday's match-anticipated match at Anfield.

The clubs played out a goalless draw in this exact fixture last season before City prevailed 2-1 in January's return encounter, eroding Liverpool's hard-earned advantage back to four points.

Pep Guardiola's men ultimately pipped the Reds to the title by a point but Brazil international Fabinho does not view those missed chances as being decisive.

"I don't think the outcome last season was based on the results against Man City," Fabinho told the Liverpool website.

"But if we beat them then we will have a large points advantage over them, which will be important for us.

"But this game is always a bit more special because we have the chance to pick up points and stop a direct rival from picking up points.

"So we're going to do all we can to win, but I'm not sure if this result will define the outcome of the season."

Barbs have been traded ahead of the latest instalment of this burgeoning rivalry, with Jurgen Klopp highlighting City's propensity for "tactical fouls" after Guardiola accused Reds star Sadio Mane of diving.

Nevertheless, Klopp affirmed his admiration of Guardiola in his pre-match news conference and Fabinho holds an equal level of respect for what the Premier League champions have built under the Catalan.

"We've played against this City team before and they've shown us what they're about," the former Monaco star said.

"They're great with the ball and they are hard-working, they're great in attack and all of this makes them one of the best teams in Europe today.

"But in the Premier League there are so many good teams and we've managed to play well in these situations as well. So playing City will be another challenge, but I think we're ready for it."

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