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Jurgen Klopp lavishes the ultimate praise on Erling Haaland ahead of Anfield showdown

The Norway international has scored 20 goals this season, 15 of which have come in the Premier League.

File photo dated 05-10-2022 of Manchester City's Erling Haaland. FC Copenhagen’s stand-in captain Viktor Claesson admits stopping Manchester City and the “killer” Erling Haaland is the toughest footballing task he has ever faced. Issue date: Monday October 10, 2022.© PA

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits he cannot focus heavily on in-form striker Erling Haaland as Manchester City have too many threats elsewhere ahead of Sunday’s Premier League showdown with Manchester City at Anfield.

The Norway international has scored 20 goals this season, 15 of which have come in the Premier League, and will pose a major threat when the two sides meet at Anfield on Sunday.

“He’s probably the best striker in the world so we have to make sure he doesn’t get many balls. That’s what we will try,” said Klopp.

“Against City, if you close Haaland down with too many players you open up gaps for all the other world-class players. It doesn’t make life easier.

“He has the combination of being pretty physical and technical. (He has) so many things to make a striker, and at City has some of the best players around him setting up goals.”

Liverpool have faced Haaland on three previous occasions, twice in the Champions League in 2019 with RB Salzburg and this season in the FA Community Shield.

“Even when he was very young you could see the potential,” added Klopp.

“I don’t think he started at Anfield but we were already pretty busy thinking about him and how to close him down. He scored anyway.”

Klopp went on to suggest his side will be ready to take on unbeaten City, despite a troubled start to the season for Liverpool.

"When you play City, results left and right [before and after] are not really important because this game requires all your focus, all the things you know about football,” he added.

"I enjoy preparing for the game but it is the biggest challenge you can face in football.

"With City, if you can close them down here, they are there, close down that gap, you open up that gap, so always a challenge.

"But it's a home game, Anfield, us against Man City, they are at the moment the best team in the world but we will give it a try, knowing we can get help from a full Anfield and we will try to use that."

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