After Manchester City trounced Newcastle 5-0 on Sunday to go three points clear at the top of the Premier League, Pep Guardiola declared that “everyone in this country supports Liverpool.”
Guardiola also stated that Kyle Walker, Jones Stones, and Ruben Dias – who was pulled out at halftime due to a muscle ailment – will not be available for the final three games of the season. Man City manager Pep Guardiola stated he is down to “three defenders for three games” due to Nathan Ake’s ankle injury.
Liverpool had dropped points in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham before winning convincingly at the Etihad Stadium.
The Spaniard also claimed his side are not the popular choice when it comes to deciding who will win the title.
“Of course because Liverpool has an incredible history in European competition. Not in the Premier League, because they have won one in 30 years, but it is not a problem at all.
“Everyone in this country supports Liverpool, the media and everyone,” Guardiola told, gunning for their fourth Premier League success in five years.
“The situation is what it is. We have to get nine points maybe six, it depends on the next two games in terms of goal difference.
“Now Wednesday is the real final for us, our destiny is in our hands and this is important, that’s the reality.”
Klopp later responded when the quotes were put to him by saying not even all of Liverpool were behind his side’s title push. City travel to Wolves on Wednesday before facing a trip to West Ham on Sunday with both fixtures. Liverpool can close the gap on Tuesday as they go to Aston Villa in front of the cameras ahead of playing Chelsea in the FA Cup final on Saturday.
“Liverpool are alongside [Manchester] United as the most important team in terms of titles, legacy, history, dramas for many, many things,” added Guardiola. “But we have since the last 11 or 12 years been there. I know sometimes we are uncomfortable, but I don’t care if the people want Liverpool to win more than us. It is not an issue.”
Guardiola will be without defender Walker after he was forced off in the second half of Wednesday’s Champions League loss at Real Madrid with fresh ankle problems while centre-back Stones has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury. Speaking in his post-match press conference, Guardiola said: “Ruben, Kyle and John are out until the end of the season.”
“With Dias injured, they are going to teams who have got systems of play that can hurt Man City. I do believe Wolves or West Ham could shock them. Both teams have had good seasons. They are awkward. “City will need to be at their best as their centre-back partnership has been obliterated.
“In this situation it’s not a problem, Rodri can play there. We have the academy. Everyone has to do extra. Thirteen players and a half for these games and everyone has to do more and more to help our absence. We arrive with problems and that’s all. Fernandinho did good and we are going to do it.” Fernandinho, who is leaving City at the end of the season, replaced Dias in the victory over Newcastle and asked how crucial the 37-year-old now becomes, Guardiola said: “A lot, otherwise, it’s CJ (Ega-Riley) or (Luke) Mbete.
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