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Liverpool on track for City showdown

Jurgen Klopp has said he is banking on the maturity of his players in a momentous week which culminates in a potential Premier League decider against Manchester City.

Liverpool travel to leaders City on Sunday for a match which could a long way to deciding the destination of the title.

But first they travel to Portugal for a Champions League quarter-final against Benfica on Tuesday. City are at home against Atletico Madrid at the same time.

However, Klopp said that he would have no trouble preparing his players for important games this month as they chase an historic four titles.

“It’s nice, we enjoy it,” Klopp said. “Training sessions are very short. The meeting we had this morning was shorter than the training session. It’s the situation we would have dreamed of.”

He said Saturday’s hard-fought 2-0 win over Watford was a perfect example of how he wanted his team to approach matches.

“If you can combine quality, desire, excitement and mentality with maturity… you cannot buy that,” Klopp said.

“I think about us being on top of our game. That’s the plan for all the games. You try to improve in general. Benfica maybe aren’t where they want to be in their league but they are tough opponents.”

Liverpool won the League Cup in February and are second in the Premier League, one point behind City. They have also reached the semi-finals, where they will face City at Wembley on Saturday, April 16.

Klopp has a full squad to select from and right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold is expected to return.

Benfica are third in the Primeira Liga, 12 points behind leaders Porto.

Meanwhile, City are at home to Atletico, who knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League with victory at Old Trafford last month.

City right-back Kyle Walker and Atletico’s Yannick Carrasco are both serving the final match of a three-game suspension. City defender Ruben Dias misses out with a thigh problem.

The winner over two legs will face Chelsea or Real Madrid in the semi-finals.

Reuters with EFE

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