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Media: Liverpool buildup and transfer speculation

MEDIA WATCH: The press have had their say ahead of tonight's big game

MEDIA WATCH: The press have had their say ahead of tonight's big game

Anticipation is rising ahead of tonight’s big game between City and Liverpool – and, as ever, there’s plenty of transfer speculation...

This morning’s back pages are awash with City news, with the biggest game of the Premier League season so far just hours away.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, speaking at his pre-match press conference, says he believes City to be one of the best sides in world football.

"It's a normal game against Manchester City, a very difficult one, one of the most difficult games you can play in the modern football world, away at City,” he said (reported here by Goal.com). "It's a really strong football team with an outstanding manager and that's how it is when you play them. 

"You have to prepare as good as possible, we have to be brave, we have to be full of desire, angry again, like in all the other games. We have to be that, but with the knowledge that the opponent is, for me, still the best team in the world.

"That's how it is. I said it weeks ago because it's 100 per cent my opinion because of how they play, all the things they achieved, they will achieve and all that stuff, so nothing changed. Only the points changed but not the preparation for the game."

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Former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore, writing in the Mirror, says no matter what the result on Thursday, he still makes City title favourites.

“City have the capacity and capability to easily put together a run of 15 games unbeaten and while Liverpool themselves are unbeaten in 20 Premier League matches, it still nags me that a 10-point lead — as it would be by Friday — could quickly be eroded with so much football still to be played," he writes

“That’s largely because City have had their wobble now and we know they have such a good squad. But it's also because they have completed this course before and we know that counts for plenty.

“Liverpool, on the other hand, haven’t encountered any problems yet this season and we don’t know how they will respond when the inevitable slip does come.”

The BBC’s Mark Lawrenson expects a somewhat cagey affair reminiscent of the game at Anfield earlier in the season – not the swashbuckling fixtures of last term.

"Super Thursday! It's a massive fixture,” Lawrenson writes.

"Because it's Liverpool, Pep Guardiola's side will need to win. The Reds, on the other hand, will be happy with either one of two results - the win or draw.

"Of course, they won't play for the draw, but a point will make City's attempt to close the seven-point gap a lot more difficult.

"It'll not be an end-to-end encounter - it'll be cagey. It'll be very different to some of last season's clashes between the sides, but similar to their first meeting this season when there were relatively few chances during the 0-0 draw."

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Elsewhere, Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo say City remain involved in a three-way tussle to prize Frenkie De Jong from Ajax, despite Pep Guardiola once again reiterating his belief City won’t be active in the transfer market this month.

According to the report, Barcelona are favourites to land De Jong, with PSG also circling.

And, finally, stats database TransferMarkt has compiled a list of the world’s most valuable players based on factors including age, performance and contract length.

PSG forward Kylian Mbappe tops the list – and there are two City players in the top 10, with Kevin De Bruyne fourth on the list and and Raheem Sterling tenth.

That’s all for this morning’s roundup of the back pages. But stay with us throughout the day here on mancity.com as we continue to bring you buildup ahead of tonight’s big game at home to Liverpool.

And don’t forget, we will bring you full minute-by-minute coverage of the game via our Matchday Centre, which kicks off at 6pm tonight.

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