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Jurgen Klopp explains where Liverpool rank among best teams in world

The Reds manager insists he is not playing mind games as he lavishes praise on Manchester City ahead of crucial Anfield clash

Not content with saying Pep Guardiola is the best manager in the world, Jurgen Klopp has followed up by claiming Manchester City are the best team on the planet.

The Liverpool manager insisted he wasn't indulging in mind games by making his side underdogs ahead of Sunday's intriguing battle at Anfield, nor diminishing their chances of a signifcant victory that would leave the reigning champions nine points adrift at the top of the Premier League.

He argued that on any given day his in-form side can - and have - beaten City but looking at Manchester club's record and upward trajectory since the take over by Abu Dhabi billionaire Sheikh Mansour in 2008 - four League titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups and six successive qualifications for the knock-out stage of the Champions League - then Liverpool still have some catching up to do.

"It depends on what you want to judge," he said. "So are we capable of beating the best team in the world? Yes, we are. That makes us capable in moments to play the best team int he world and beat them, so that is possible. But I think on a completely normal day, they are still a step ahead. That is how it is.

"To compare with Pep, it is easy to understand what I say. I don't want to make us smaller than we are because we are incredible in moments, really incredible, but we still have a lot of space for improvement.

"It is not too important what you are in this moment but what you can be in the future but you have to use everything. We all ask for that and it is necessary. Keep a performance level and then we make the next step. That is what we do in life and in football.

"It doesn't make us smaller. We know how difficult it will be but we want to beat them. We have no excuses before the game, it is only what I said, it should not be an excuse."

Klopp's impact at Liverpool has been as impressive as Guardiola's at the Etihad and the re-booting of their image under the charismastic former Borussia Dortmund boss has, and will, help them compete with City and other top European clubs for the best players, Virgil Van Dijk's £75m move from Southampton nearly two years ago a case in point.

"We have reasons, good reasons, why players want to join us, that is clear," he added. "City have had a very successful spell in the last 10 years when they have been champions a few times but I don't think we struggle with convincing players.

"You can feel it - this year, last year - and you can see in the eyes of a player when we speak to them. The club is in a very good position, image-wise. Now I think it is easier to live the life of a Liverpool supporter and that means automatically being in a situation to sign the players you want to sign.

"The club is in a really good position, but unfortunately it does not lead to a situation where you win all the football games. It has to be done on the pitch."