Pep Guardiola said he’s encouraging his team to feel the heat of Liverpool’s approach as Manchester City chases its fourth Premier League title in five seasons.
City beat Burnley 2-0 on Saturday at Turf Moor and Guardiola was a bit concerned that the club did not find the third and fourth goal that could take the team’s table advantage over Liverpool to a new level.
Liverpool is City’s next Premier League opponent — both teams have a midweek Champions League quarterfinal first leg — and Guardiola does not think any other team will take a point or three off Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.
“Hopefully Liverpool will lose against us but apart from that, I don’t think they will drop points,” Guardiola said, via The Manchester Evening News. “We have to feel this pressure and handle it. We did it in the past.”
And so goal differential could come into play, Guardiola thinks. City currently has 73 points with eight matches left. The Reds have 72 but a plus-57 goal differential compared to Liverpool’s plus-52.
“We won 14 games in a row, now we have to win eight games. Otherwise, we will not be champions,” saying at another point in the interview that, “We have to feel the pressure that every game we play if we lose we are not going to win, we will be out.”
That’s quite a mindset, one we’re not sure Pep would be tossing into the public if City’s fixture list wasn’t considerably easier than Klopp’s last seven opponents (although, Man City fans would want us to point out, that means that City already took points from the tricky teams on Liverpool’s docket).
Wolves and West Ham away aren’t easy propositions, nor is Villa at home depending on which Villa shows up, but it would be truly surprising if City didn’t outscore Leeds, Newcastle, and Brighton.
Liverpool still has a rivalry scrap with Man United at Anfield in addition to a home Merseyside derby, Villa away, and Wolves at home. Oh, and Spurs. Southampton and Newcastle can hang with anyone, but certainly won’t be expected to take points versus Liverpool.Follow @NicholasMendola