If Matip and Gomez are unavailable, Nathaniel Phillips, who has performed well in pre-season, will likely partner Van Dijk.
But the German recognises it remains a sizeable task and likened City to Drago, the formidable rival to fictional boxing character Balboa. The champions are Manchester City; they didn't lose any player and they brought in Mahrez, so that doesn't make them weaker.
"We are still Rocky Balboa and not Ivan Drago, we have to fight more and do more things". We are the ones who have to do more, to fight more, to do all these things.
Guardiola responded to Klopp's "favourites" assertion by saying: 'Thank you, Jurgen.
"But you all ask me about the gap to City and what we have to do". We did not reach anything so far.
Paul Merson believes Liverpool FC need to sign another centre-half to finally win their first Premier League title.
"It is hard for us and the other teams too". We only did finals.
"Maybe there was some interest or a conversation but it's not a case of Monaco not letting me go to Manchester United or denying me the move, nothing ever really materialised".
The Reds were one of the most exciting teams to watch in world football last season, thrilling fans with their own unique brand of expansive, high-octane football.
"Could we go to a final again?" They can still win trophies when you think they've got problems.
"The league is exactly the same".
Klopp used a typically colourful analogy as he discussed the upcoming season ahead of Liverpool's opening game against West Ham, which takes place on Sunday, likening is team to the underdog boxer played by Sylvester Stallone in this year's battle for the title.
"Then we can talk".
"In the moment it's nothing, it's like scientists-[in theory] it really works".