Pep Guardiola disagrees with Jurgen Klopp’s title assessment ahead of Man City clash vs Liverpool

The two heavyweights meet at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has insisted Liverpool are still his side’s biggest title rivals this season, despite their sluggish start to the new campaign.

The Reds are currenty 10th in the table having taken just 10 points from their opening eight matches, and are already 13 points adrift of last season’s champions - albeit with a game in hand. The two clubs face each other in the Premier League for the first time this term on Sunday afternoon.

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And even with the Reds trailing some distance behind his team at this early stage of the campaign, Guardiola is under no illusions as to the danger they still pose.

Asked if he regards Liverpool as City’s biggest title rivals this season during a press conference on Friday, the Catalan said: “Always have been and always it is and will be, yeah. I know the quality they have and they know the quality we have.

“If we get this question with 10 games left, I would say I think Liverpool cannot catch the top of the league, Arsenal. But with the World Cup, anything can happen. In the last years we fought for all the titles and were close. We were a little bit better, especially in the Premier League. But nothing changes the opinion I have of them.

“A table never plays a team,” he added in Friday’s press conference. “The game will be dictated by what happens on the pitch, not that we are in front or behind [in table]. [It’s] always difficult and has been in these years we arrive together. Tough game, we won’t discover anything else that’s special.”

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For his part, however, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has taken a decidedly dimmer view of his team’s title prospects this season.

Speaking recently, the German boss said: “Does it look at the moment that we will be champions at the end of the year? Unfortunately not. But in all other competitions we’re not out yet. And nobody knows where we will end up in the league yet so let’s just give it a go. Difficult? Yes. Impossible? No. That’s enough. So let’s just go from here.”

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