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Guardiola, Klopp meet again in Anfield showdown

Published : Saturday, 31 December, 2016 at 12:00 AM  Count : 459

London, Dec 30: Pep Guardiola confronts one of the few opposition managers to have regularly outwitted him when Manchester City visit Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool in the Premier League's stand-out New Year's Eve fixture.
Klopp was a thorn in Guardiola's side during their time as rivals in the Bundesliga, with his Borussia Dortmund team overcoming the Catalan's Bayern Munich four times in eight meetings.
Liverpool go into Saturday's game at Anfield a point above City in second place and while Klopp says past encounters will count for little, he is relishing the prospect of resuming hostilities.
"We know everything about how Pep played with Bayern, but that is not important any more because it is different players and different systems," Klopp said.
"In Holland it was Johan Cruyff and Total Football. He (Guardiola) was very nearly perfect with Barcelona. He had a big influence with Bayern and changed their style completely.
"He is an outstanding manager, 100 percent. I am not interested too much in giving things a name, but you can see on the pitch he is an influential manager.
"He has a clear idea and a pretty much good idea. He has had a fantastic career until now.
"He had a nice style with Barcelona and was really good with Bayern and now he is at City and he is there to be successful and not to show how good he is."
Guardiola arrived in Munich in 2013, shortly after Bayern had pipped Klopp's Dortmund to glory in the Bundesliga and German Cup and beaten them 2-1 in the Champions League final at Wembley.
Bayern swept to the Bundesliga title in Guardiola's three seasons in Bavaria and Klopp left Dortmund after a disappointing seventh-place finish in the 2014-15 campaign.




But the bespectacled former Mainz coach gave Guardiola several bloody noses, beating him in the 2013 German Super Cup and inflicting his first home league defeat with a 3-0 win in April 2014.
Dortmund also beat Bayern in the 2014 Super Cup and eliminated them in the semi-finals of the German Cup in 2015.
Having arrived at Liverpool in October 2015, Klopp has had almost a year's head start on Guardiola in the Premier League.
But while Liverpool appear closer to the finished article than City, who lost back-to-back games against Chelsea and Leicester City earlier this month, there is little between them in the standings.    AFP



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