The war of words between Liverpool and Manchester City has already started ahead of their Premier League showdown on Sunday.

BBC Sport pundit Micah Richards has claimed that Jurgen Klopp has had a bit of a ‘Keegan meltdown’ after Pep Guardiola accused Liverpool’s Sadio Mane of diving.

Guardiola made the comments straight after Manchester City beat Southampton, with Klopp’s Liverpool securing a late win themselves on that very same day against Aston Villa. 

Since then, Klopp has responded to Guardiola’s comments by defending his player, as he insisted that Mane is not a diver, as reported by Sky Sports.

But speaking to the Monday Night Club on BBC Radio 5 Live (04/11/19), former City defender Richards reacted to Klopp’s response and thinks that he has been wound up by his rival.

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“Sounded like Keegan meltdown,” Richards told 5 Live Sport. “I’m a neutral [laughs]. Yes, I love City, but I’m neutral.

“After explaining for a minute or so that he doesn’t want to talk about Man City, he talks about Man City – it’s mind games. That’s what the title race needs. Two great managers, Pep’s come out on top a couple of times and he’s just trying to upset the apple cart a little bit.

“It looks like it has stirred up Klopp, to be honest. The way Klopp has reacted there, it’s like he has had a bit of a nibble.”

Guardiola was making reference to Mane being booked for diving during Liverpool’s win at Aston Villa.

Given that City are six points behind Liverpool in the Premier League table, there’s no doubt that their manager is trying anything to give them some sort of advantage for the weekend.

On Sunday, City will travel to Anfield knowing that a defeat would see Liverpool’s lead extend to nine points, and whilst they clawed back a significant lead last season, they will not want to put themselves in that situation again.

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