Ragnar Klavan ready for Sergio Aguero challenge ahead of Liverpool vs Manchester City

Ragnar Klavan ready for Sergio Aguero challenge ahead of Liverpool vs Manchester City

Liverpool centre-back Ragnar Klavan is prepared for the challenge of facing Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero in Saturday evening's huge clash at Anfield.

Charlie Malam

Ragnar Klavan insists he is ready to go toe-to-toe with returning Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero when he lines up for Liverpool against the Argentine on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola's men represent the Reds' final opponents of the calendar year and their clash promises to have sizable title implications, with Chelsea already six points clear at the top and facing a winnable home clash with Stoke City.

The visitors' search for a full three points at Anfield for the first time since 2003 will be aided by the return of Aguero, the frontman - who has scored 27 goals in 2016 and 10 this season - now back from a four-game suspension.

Klavan will be one of a number tasked with shackling Aguero, with Joel Matip still absent with an ankle injury that will allow him to join Dejan Lovren in central defence for the fourth straight game.

City will be worried about our forwards too, says Klavan

The Estonian international - recently crowned his country's best player for the third successive year - told Liverpoolfc.com that "you don't change the way you approach the game" regardless of the opposition.

"But of course you have to know what kind of striker you are up against," Klavan continued, insisting that it is "a big difference" if it's "Peter Crouch or Aguero."

He acknowledged that players must be "a little bit tuned in to that" but warned "not too much" so as it becomes distracting.

Klavan also added: "It's the same for them [City] as well. We have a really amazing front line." 

He stated that against Guardiola's side, they "need to attack well and also be good at the back", calling it a "great challenge" although he said that "every game is a good challenge" and he and his Liverpool teammates must "take it step-by-step, game-by-game."

Defender: We can't start sloppy against City or else we'll be punished

Guardiola was present on Tuesday evening as Liverpool came from behind against Stoke City, and despite the encouraging manner of the comeback, Klavan warned the Reds can't afford a substandard start against the Sky Blues.

The 30-year-old said that it was "a pity" that Liverpool were "a little bit not there" in "the beginning of the game" against Stoke, saying that "they scored the goal and had the chance to score a second one."

But he insisted that he is part of "a really good team" that are able to "adapt in the game", which he believes they "did against Stoke", adding: "We started playing and got our opportunities. In the end, we won."

However, Klavan declared that City "have even more in quality" and that "they can punish you straight away" if "you are not in the game straight away."

Regardless, the experienced defender is confident of a positive result, stating that while City are "a really good side", Liverpool "are as well" before touching upon the significance of playing "at home."