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This Sunday’s encounter between Manchester City and Liverpool will be the 12th meeting between Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp. And while City is in the form of their life, yet it is believed that they could receive a blow at Anfield.
Klopp, the current Liverpool manager, has the distinction of winning the most matches against Guardiola, who has served previously at Barcelona and Bayern Munich. During his time with Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool, Klopp defeated Guardiola’s Bayern and Manchester City no more than five times in total.
This Premier League season has unequivocally been City’s season. As the leader of the Premier League, City has beaten United at their home in the Manchester Derby. Besides such formidable teams like Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham have all failed to stop their winning run. With 62 points, the Blues have decided the fate of the league trophy so very early, leaving no hopes for the other teams.
Yet, Guardiola could taste a defeat at Ainfield, against the manager who has bested him five times already. If that happens, City’s dream of becoming the next invincibles’ after Arsenal would be over.
Lets look at the encounters between Guardiola and Klopp so far.
Klopp made a good first impression on Guardiola when they met in the German Super Cup. Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund out-played Guardiola’s Bayern Munich to win by 4-2. Guardiola equalized matters in November of that year by thrashing Dortmund 3-0.
Although Dortmund returned the favor with the 3-0 victory at the Allianz Arena, still by then the league title had already been claimed by Bayern. They later inflicted a 2-0 defeat also to Dortmund in the German Cup final.
The 2014 Super Cup went to Dortmund, a year after Klopp and Guardiola first met with each other. In the final of that Super Cup, Klopp’s Dortmund gave a spectacular performance by scoring two goals, one from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the other from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Guardiola took his revenge when they won both the matches of the Bundesliga. And when the pair clashed with each other again in the semi-final of the DFB Pokal, it was Klopp who shone this time. With the score of 1-1, the game headed to penalties which saw Dortmund through to the final.
In the initial matches between Klopp’s Liverpool and Guardiola’s Manchester City, it was Klopp who was more on the winning side. On the New Year’s Eve, the Liverpool team bested Manchester City by 1-0. The next match in March 2017 ended in a draw.
However, the last encounter between Liverpool and City at Etihad Stadium was the most stand-out match in terms of numbers. City dominated that game by scoring five goals and winning by 5-0 in the end.
This match at Anfield would be the hardest test of Guardiola to remain unbeaten in the season, and chances are that Liverpool would outplay City and let them have a taste of defeat.