Liverpool vs. Manchester City is becoming one of the highlights of the English football calendar, with some going as far as to label it England’s El Clasico.
This Sunday’s match will be available in over 1 billion homes around the world and while it may be too early in the season to have any major impact on the title race, it could certainly give the victor a psychological edge.
To discuss the game and City’s injury situation, Pep Guardiola spoke to the media at the CFA this afternoon.
The big news came early as Pep gave strong hints that Kevin De Bruyne could play some part against Liverpool. Pep confirmed the Belgian trained with the others on Friday.
“Kevin De Bruyne was training today,” said Pep.
When asked to confirm if KDB could line up against Liverpool, Guardiola simply said: “We will see tomorrow.”
City could be further boosted by the return of Benjamin Mendy, with Pep confirming his return to training on Friday.
“Mendy trained with us today and is in contention (for Sunday).”
Fabian Delph will not be fit to face Liverpool, while Ilkay Gundogan is a doubt.
“Everybody is OK, Delph is not available. Gundogan has a little problem and he didn’t train today – we will see tomorrow.”
Pep spoke highly of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool who have given him his toughest games since his arrival in England.
“They are a top side in the way they play. Liverpool beat a lot of sides not just City (last season).
“Liverpool is one of two greatest teams in England. We try to be close to them. They are top side and we try to be closer every time.”
Have Liverpool found City out? Many believe Klopp has sussed out how to beat Liverpool and Pep didn’t disagree – some mind games perhaps?
“Good, congratulations, they are right. So we won the Premier League. Liverpool beat us, they beat a lot of teams.”
Could City change their approach by setting up more defensively at Anfield? The idea seemed to offend Pep.
“We have to defend but not in the approach because it’s boring and we have to be ourselves.
“These kind of games we have to be ourselves. If we lose then congratulations to Jurgen but we try to improve and go again.”
Finally, there have been fears of another attack by Liverpool fans on City’s team bus. And furthermore, suggestions that City fans could try to protect the bus.
Pep replied incredulously: “The best way to protect the bus is for Liverpool fans to go into the stadium,” Pep said. “We should not need the police. Why do our fans have to protect our bus? Are you kidding me?”