Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is preparing for a reunion with father figure Jurgen Klopp.
Runaway Premier League leaders City face a stern test of their unbeaten top-flight record on Sunday, when they take on Klopp's Liverpool at Anfield.
Gundogan came to prominence under Klopp's guidance as part of his celebrated Borussia Dortmund sides but the missed out on the chance to face his old mentor last season when his debut campaign at City was curtailed by a cruciate knee ligament injury.
The 27-year-old is now back in action under Pep Guardiola, who was a vital factor in making him decide against re-joining Klopp when a Premier League switch was on the cards in 2016.
Nevertheless, Gundogan continues to hold the animated 50-year-old coach in high regard.
"With Kloppo everything really started for me," he told Sportbuzzer. "Even though I won't forget Michael Oenning and Dieter Hecking [Gundogan's former coaches at Bochum and Nurnberg respectively], Kloppo was like a father to me and his speeches can be extremely motivating.
"There were times when he took the whip out, but he also embraced you and said, 'Boy, everything is okay.' He worked very well together with his assistant Zeljko Buvac who was more the tactical mastermind."
No time for looking back! Focussing on my goals in 2018. Are you too? pic.twitter.com/w0DKrItK4e— Ilkay Gündogan (@IlkayGuendogan) January 3, 2018
Thomas Tuchel succeeded Klopp at Dortmund for Gundogan's final season at Signal Iduna Park and he sees parallels between the former Mainz coach and his current manager.
"When it comes to trainings and working on details, Thomas Tuchel was maybe the best coach I ever had," he explained.
"He is very similar to Pep and working with him is lots of fun. I learned a great deal about tactics, keeping your position and how to attack and defend collectively. I have the greatest respect for him."
On Guardiola, Gundogan added: "Pep played at the highest level himself. He has the gift to think like the players, no matter whether you are a superstar or a player on the bench.
"He knows exactly what a professional thinks and needs in certain situations."
|WATCH: Sabalenka wins point using racquet throat|
|Federer, Djokovic and Zverev among Australian Open first-round winners|
|Kubica gets reserve role as Williams hire Sirotkin|
|Shambolic Stars out after Sixers thrashing|
|Wales pick uncapped Worcester wing Adams in Six Nations squad|
|Tevez: CSL spell was a holiday|
|Mignolet considering Liverpool future|
|Laidlaw among several returning stars in Scotland Six Nations squad|
|´Fairy tale´ 2017 motivation for Federer|
|Fred waiting for Guardiola call amid Man City speculation|
|Dominant Federer makes light work of Bedene|
|Halep faces nervous wait over ankle injury|
|Inter confident but patient over Rafinha|
|Kohli fined after umpire outburst|
|Djokovic hits back at Australian Open boycott suggestions|
|De Grandhomme lifts Black Caps to win in Taylor´s 200th ODI|
|Giggs had counselling after Old Trafford exit|
|Durant continues dominance over Cavs as Warriors win|
|Halep survives scare and rolled ankle at Melbourne Park|
|Westbrook ejected against Kings after arguing call|
|Djokovic eases past Young on return|
|Sharapova staying grounded after Melbourne win|
|Neville: Mourinho would happily swap Mkhitaryan for Sanchez|
|Raonic suffers surprise loss in Melbourne|
|Sharapova wins on return to Australian Open|
|Pirates send McCutchen to Giants|
|Man United becoming Pogba´s team – Mourinho|
|Saints, Steelers coaching staffs to lead Pro Bowl teams|
|LeBron says we cannot let racism ´conquer us as people´|
|Super Bowl hopeful Belichick cautiously preparing for Jaguars|
|Cardinals veteran Yadier Molina: Three more years before retirement|
|The best finishes in NFL playoff history - Where does Keenum & Diggs´ Minneapolis miracle rank?|
|Can ´talking with everyone´ but hints at Liverpool stay|
|Mourinho ´not unconfident´ Manchester United will sign Sanchez|
|Pogba warns City that United will not give up the chase|
|Assist king Pogba matches De Bruyne, Sane despite injury and suspension|
|Manchester United 3 Stoke City 0: Valencia, Martial and Lukaku trim gap at the top|
|Shaw feeling on top of his game amid United run|
|Ulster and Ireland wing Bowe to retire|
|Mkhitaryan left out by Manchester United amid Arsenal talk|
|Inter secure Lopez on loan from Benfica|
|Hurst marvels at hat-trick maestro Kane|
|WATCH: Neymar nutmegging for fun in PSG training|
|Best eager to sort out Ireland future|
|Bastareaud and Haskell to learn fate on Wednesday|
|Nantes´ Carlos has red card overturned after being kicked by referee|
|De Villiers leads Proteas´ recovery following imperious Kohli century|
|´Logical´ for Aubameyang to stay at Dortmund, says Stoger|
|Di Resta out of Williams running|
|Stokes ´keen´ for court appearance after affray charge|
|Titans part ways with Mularkey|
|Stupid not to - Giggs seeks Fergie´s advice upon taking Wales job|
|Young hails Wasps´ capture of ´world class´ Sopoaga|
|England all-rounder Stokes charged with affray|
|Nadal expects to get better in Melbourne|
|Suarez feared Chiellini bite would derail Barca transfer|
|Dortmund sign reported Man United target Akanji|
|Short stars again in Hurricanes´ fifth straight win|
|Bangladesh trounce Zimbabwe in tri-nations opener|
|Wales confirm Giggs appointment|
|Barcelona´s Dembele out for up to four weeks|
|Nadal through as five seeds fall in Australian Open first round|
|Williams, Stephens out as American women stumble at Australian Open|
|Wozniacki not getting carried away as seeds tumble|
|Struggling Stoke appoint Lambert|
|Referee suspended until further notice after kicking Nantes´ Carlos|
|Mercedes lead tributes to Gurney|
|Coutinho´s ´deserved´ Barca move, says Figo|
|Toulon stand by Bastareaud after alleged homophobic slur|
|Burgos no match for sensational Nadal|