The final Premier League game of 2016 is likely to be an absolutely mouth-watering one, with Liverpool hosting Manchester City in the late kick-off.
It’s a huge top-of-the-table clash, with the Reds currently on 40 points, six points behind leaders Chelsea and both a point and a place ahead of Man City.
The potentially ferocious and high-octane encounter will also renew the rivalry between Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, who tussled many times in Germany during their respective reigns in charge of Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.
No team in the top eight has conceded more goals than Liverpool, and City will be massively boosted by the return from suspension of prolific marksman Sergio Aguero, however going forward, the Merseyside club are the division’s top scorers with 45 goals.
Ahead of his first trip to Anfield, Guardiola, regarded by many as the best managerial mind in world football, has revealed his admiration for Liverpool’s attacking, rock and roll style of football under Klopp and has even labelled the 49-year-old the best in the world in one department.
PEP: KLOPP THE BEST IN THE WORLD AT ONE THING
In his pre-match press conference, the Spanish coach said: “I like a lot the way they (Liverpool) play, because for the spectators, in three or four seconds, they are attacking.
“Maybe he (Klopp) is the best manager in the world – the best manager who creates the teams attacking the back four with this amount of players, with this high intensity, with the ball, without the ball.”
Guardiola, who won 14 trophies in just four years at Barcelona, continued: “So, it’s not easy to do that. They attack there (points centrally), out wide sometimes with Clyne, with Milner, but especially they attack inside (the middle of the pitch) and they do it really well.
“I think there is not another team in the world attacking with so many players inside. I learned a lot in Germany, the first time I played against them (Klopp’s Dortmund team) in the Supercup. I was new there and I said ‘Wow’.
“It was a good lesson for me, that game, and we (Bayern) lost 4-2, and after in the league, I learned a lot (more). I learned (how) to control a little bit that situation, but it’s not easy, it’s not easy.
“So, when he (Klopp) speaks about his football being ‘heavy metal’ I understand completely because it’s so aggressive in that sense. So for the spectators and the fans, it’s really really good, really good.”
It promises to be a very eventful game, and a win for either side would be vital in their hopes of catching up to Chelsea, whose club record 12-game unbeaten run has seen them break clear of the chasing pack.