July 1 (UPI) -- Liverpool's soccer stars are still expected to take the field against Manchester City Thursday in Manchester, England, despite the Reds' cemented position as Premier League champions.
The Reds claimed the Premier League crown last Thursday when second-place City lost to Chelsea. The Sky Blues will honor the Reds before Thursday's game at Etihad Stadium but Reds manager Jurgen Klopp said his squad will play to win.
"We take it, it's a nice gesture, 100 percent," Klopp told reporters Wednesday. "I wouldn't need it, to be honest, because we go there and want to play a football game and either way we want to win the football game.
"I don't celebrate things what happened a week before or stuff like that. Again, it's a nice gesture but that's it pretty much."
Liverpool and Manchester City will face off at 3:15 p.m. EDT Thursday in Manchester. The game will air on NBCSN and at NBCSports.com.
Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Andy Robertson were among the Reds stars who took part in training Tuesday at Melwood Training Ground in Liverpool.
"You cannot defend City if you don't play an intense game," Klopp said. "I think it's difficult to defend us if you don't play an intense game. So that already makes clear how this game will be."
The Reds lead the Sky Blues by 23 points in the Premier League standings. Liverpool still can beat the Sky Blues' record of 32 wins in a season, which was set in 2017-2018. The Reds have 28 wins with seven games remaining. Liverpool can also break the Sky Blues' record for the most points in a season (100) with 14 points from a possible 21 points remaining. Reds players also still eye several individual accomplishments like goal and assist totals.
The Sky Blues were the Premier League champions last season and in 2017-2018.
"In sports you have to prove [yourself] every time," Sky Blues manager Pep Guardiola said. "We are satisfied with what we are doing but the past is the past.
"What we have done remains in our soul and memories."
Liverpool's next game will be against Aston Villa at 11:30 p.m. EDT Sunday at Anfield in Liverpool. City has a battle against Southampton at 2 p.m. EDT Sunday at St. Mary's Stadium in Southampton.