Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hopes Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne is fit to make his return in the top-of-the-table Premier League clash between the sides.
De Bruyne has been sidelined since August due to a knee injury, but the Belgium international is said to be close to an earlier-than-expected return.
While De Bruyne would strengthen City, Klopp said he wanted the 27-year-old to be fit for Sunday’s encounter at Anfield.
“Yeah, 100 per cent. I really like him, as a player,” the German told UK newspapers.
“His talent, skills, attitude and then with all those things, decision making. He uses the right skills at the right moment, although of course David Silva is not too bad at that either.
“That is the best combination. Kevin is still at an age where he can improve a lot. He is 27, so there is a lot more to come. And he is an outstanding, nice fellow as well.”
Despite De Bruyne’s absence, City are on 19 points – the same tally as Liverpool – atop the Premier League table.
Klopp said he wanted to face Pep Guardiola’s best possible side as he expressed his surprise at how quickly De Bruyne had seemingly recovered.
“When did his injury happen? August? Now it’s October. That’s really quick. Unbelievable. I don’t know what happened, because in England, you don’t get real information about injuries. That’s completely different to Germany, by the way,” he said.
“When I heard about it first, I didn’t think that it would be that quick, but if he’s in, that’s always the target.
“We want to beat City. That’s no secret. We shall try that. But we want to beat the best City, and Kevin De Bruyne, for sure, is part of the best City team.
“I’m not sure if Ilkay Gundogan [who is dealing with a hamstring injury] can play or not, but he can fill that position pretty well. We will see.”