“By far” – Pep Guardiola on Jurgen Klopp: “He made me better”

The Reds visit the Etihad Stadium on Saturday lunchtime for the latest instalment of a classic rivalry that has so often gone a long way to deciding the destination of the Premier League title.

City go into the game one point ahead of Klopps side, who look their most realistic title challengers, even if Guardiola says Arsenal and Tottenham are also in the race.

Guardiola has had some battles over the years, notably with Jose Mourinho, but says Klopp has made him a better manager.

Asked if the German was his biggest rival, he said: Yes, by far. Because we have faced each other a thousand million times.

Absolutely, he made me better, he helped me reflect on a lot of things with the problems they have created for us, its part of when you are many years in this business, him and his teams, here and Dortmund have always been big rivals, good games for both, both teams have a positive approach to the games and always attractive.

Im pretty sure he made me a better manager through his teams, and of course, the way we play for them is good with the transitions, they have a lot of space in behind, they are fantastic with the runs, they are a fantastic team, fantastic legs, a top side, no doubt.

After a poor season last year, where they missed out on Champions League qualification, Klopps side look back to their best and are clear challengers for the title.

Absolutely, Guardiola said. Arsenal will be too, I see them as so, so solid.

Spurs even, the two defeats they had lately, the feeling when I see the way they are playing and with one game a week, I think they will be there.

Chelsea start to recover and have one game a week. I think the four or five contenders are there.

I dont know if Newcastle will join, maybe United will join us but many things can happen.