Pep Guardiola may have just underestimated Liverpool in title race

Manchester City manager has backed both Liverpool and Arsenal to drop points in the Premier League run-in, suggesting the title race will go all the way to the final day of the season.

City saw off Aston Villa 4-1 at the Etihad on Wednesday night to keep up the pressure on Liverpool at the top of the table.

Arsenal's 2-0 home win over Luton means they jumped back into first on 68 points, though the Reds (currently on 67) can re-take their place with a win against Sheffield United in their game in hand on Thursday.

Still in third and also on 67 points, manager of the defending champions Guardiola is remaining optimistic about his side's ability to keep churning out the wins going into the final stretch.

Speaking after the convincing victory in which Phil Foden scored a hat-trick, he said: "If we win all our games, it will be down to the last day because they are not five, six, seven points in front. It will not be easy. I see Liverpool and Arsenal dropping points, but you never know.

"We have to show up and do our job and don't regret that we should have won that game because they lost the game after.

"We cannot do anything. We cannot control what they do. We have to win our games, that's all we can do."

Can Liverpool be flawless?

While City undoubtedly have the quality and experience to win all of their remaining eight games, Guardiola's confidence suggests he might just be underestimating his title rivals.

Though City have been the masters of going up a gear and not dropping points when the pressure is on in recent years, Liverpool too have shown the ability to be flawless when needed too.

With games against Manchester United, Everton, Tottenham and Villa still among the games to face (and all crammed into a packed schedule), a perfect finish will not be an easy task by any stretch of the imagination for Jurgen Klopp's men. However, should the Reds beat Sheffield United on Thursday, their three-point cushion on City gives them a little breathing space, while Guardiola's side have their own tough tests sandwiched between European fixtures to deal with.

Jurgen Klopp

Football - FA Premier League - Liverpool FC v Manchester City FC LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 10, 2024: Liverpool s manager Jürgen Klopp before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda Copyright: xDavidxRawcliffex P2024-03-10-Liverpool_Man_City-11

Nine wins from nine is not impossible by any stretch, especially considering some of the runs Klopp's sides have managed in the past.

The Reds won a frankly ridiculous 18 league games between October 2019 and February 2020 in the title-winning campaign. The challenge is clear: manage half that this spring and Liverpool will be champions again.

Liverpool's remaining Premier League fixtures 2023/24:

  • Sheffield United (H) – 4 April
  • Manchester United (A) – 7 April
  • Crystal Palace (H) – 14 April
  • Fulham (A) – 21 April
  • Everton (A) – 24 April
  • West Ham (A) – 27 April
  • Tottenham Hotspur (H) – 4 May
  • Aston Villa (A) – 11 May
  • Wolves (H) – 19 May
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