Pep Guardiola says he is “pleased” to be returning to a packed Anfield on Sunday as his Manchester City team face Liverpool.
City have a poor record at the home of the Reds. Last season’s win was their first their in 18 years as they demolished the then-Premier League champions 4-1.
They won in an empty stadium, but Guardiola does not believe that had much of a factor in their success at Anfield last term.
“I’m very pleased Anfield is full again and we can go there to play a game,” said the City boss.
“It’s nice that the people are back and we can enjoy a fantastic atmosphere there.
“Hopefully we can handle it in a good way. I’m pretty sure the players would prefer to play with fans at Anfield than without. Everything is more alive.
“I don’t know the reasons why we didn’t win at Anfield over the 18 years but, over my five years, it was because they were an exceptional team.
“It’s not about intimidation. It’s about the quality of the opponent. When you don’t win it’s because they are so good. We try to do our game with or without spectators.”
Guardiola has claimed that Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp have “helped” him become a “better manager”.
“Jurgen Klopp’s teams helped me to be a better manager,” he added. “He put me another level, to think about it, to prove myself, to be a better manager. That is the reason why I am still in this business.
“Since I arrived here – maybe not the first year – Liverpool were always there.”