Manchester City have the first half of a Champions League quarter-final double header against Liverpool coming up during the week, but it’s impossible not to think beyond that to next weekend’s Manchester derby.
A victory for City over their bitter rivals Manchester United on home soil at the Etihad Stadium would clinch the Premier League title at the earliest date in the competition’s history.
Defender Aymeric Laporte recognises what an opportunity City have, to win the title, like in 2011/12 and 2013/14, in quite dramatic circumstances, when it had seemed that City would secure it in a fairly routine way, perhaps against a mid-table team, given their huge lead at the top.
“Obviously that is a very important game on Saturday,” the former Athletic Bilbao star told reporters. “I think it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we must take advantage of it. We must try to win and get the Premier League we all want.
“We fight every game like it is the last one and it was very important to win.
“Always you try to play the best you can and I had the chance to give that pass, but we need to keep on improving.”
Laporte’s selection at left-back against Everton was the big surprise on Saturday, but despite some wobbles, he had a decent game, playing a part in Leroy Sané’s opening goal.
Was Pep Guardiola testing him in the role ahead of potentially putting him up against Mo Salah on Wednesday?
“It felt really good. It is a different position but we worked over the week in training sessions and I felt fine.
“We know Liverpool is a difficult game. They have great players and are in great shape. We need to be 100 percent focused to have a chance to win.”
Manchester City Retro Shirts for just £20 – buy online now!