Pep Guardiola insists tenth-place Liverpool are still Manchester City’s biggest threat in the Premier League title race, not leaders Arsenal, ahead of clash at Anfield

Pep Guardiola insists Liverpool are still the biggest threat to Manchester City’s title ambitions ahead of their clash at Anfield on Sunday.

Guardiola was speaking at his pre–match press conference ahead of the trip to Merseyside where Manchester City will look to deal another blow to Jurgen Klopp’s side’s stuttering season.

An indifferent start has seen the Reds fall to tenth in the table – 13 points behind second-place City and a further point adrift of leaders Arsenal.

Despite a huge gap between the sides, Guardiola is in no doubt that Liverpool are capable of putting a run of wins together in hope of derailing City’s title bid.

When asked if Liverpool remained City’s biggest challenge, manager Guardiola replied: “They always have been. Yeah. Because, I know the quality they have.

“If it was like this with ten games left I would say I don’t think they can catch us but now anything can happen.”

City have won just once in their last ten visits to Anfield in all competitions, with seven defeats and two draws overshadowing a 4-1 victory in 2021.

Despite that, Guardiola admits he enjoys playing at Anfield and that his side always have to perform well to stand any chance of winning.

“You have to behave at top top level, especially off the ball, for second balls, many many things. At Anfield, winning or losing we always play with a big personality.

“It’s one of the biggest ones [games at Anfield], nicest ones, it’s a joy to be there and be a part of the game.

The Spaniard also pointed to his side’s consistency as the difference maker in getting over the line in the title race compared to the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea who have ultimately missed out on the major prize.

“This is our biggest achievement as a team. Everything can change. A few months ago Liverpool were competing for a prestigious situation in English football – four titles. They had more shots, possession, everything in the [Champions League] final and they lost.

“This is the same team, same manager, things can happen. It’s part of the nature of the competition. I don’t look at good moments or bad moments. I analyse as a team always expecting the best of them.”

Guardiola revealed that three players will miss Sunday’s trip including defender John Stones who is another week away from a return.

“All of them will be out,” Guardiola told reporters when quizzed on his injured trio. John, I think will be back I don’t know when maybe one week. Kalvin [Phillips] is getting better and better. Kyle [Walker] is still out. I don’t know [if they’ll be ready for the World Cup].

Good news for City fans is that top scorer Erling Haaland is fit and ready for Sunday’s clash after being named as an unused substitute during Tuesday’s goalless draw at FC Copenhagen.

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