LONDON (Reuters) – Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan believes they are better prepared to cope with Liverpool’s attacking trio in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals at Anfield tonight.
City’s 4-3 defeat at Liverpool in January was their only loss against a Premier League side this season.
It came courtesy three goals in nine second-half minutes from Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, who have combined to score 75 goals in all competitions for Liverpool this season.
“There’s a lot of respect, because all three have scored plenty of goals and they’ve also set up many more,” Gundogan told British media.
“Liverpool are still the only team that’s been capable of beating us in the Premier League. But we’re aware why this happened, although we performed pretty well that day.“Obviously, going back to Anfield for the first-leg game is a great motivation for us.
“We’d like to get a great result in the first leg and then dominate the game in the second leg, in front of our fans. That’s what we want to do and, if we achieve that, then I’m sure we’ll make it into the next round.”
Gundogan spent four years playing under Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp who managed Borussia Dortmund before moving to England.
It was a period with the German club winning the Bundesliga title, German Cup as well as reaching the 2013 Champions League final.
“Juergen is a terrific coach and he’s capable of motivating his team ahead of every game,” Gundogan added.
“And he’s proving all that again with Liverpool – their attack is incredibly strong. So they aren’t an easy team to beat but we need to do so.”
City could wrap up the Premier League title with a win over local rivals Manchester United on Saturday before facing Liverpool in the second leg at the Etihad Stadium three days later.