The pressure of Sunday’s clash between Liverpool and Manchester City is firmly on Pep Guardiola, according to Sam Allardyce.
Guardiola has delivered back-to-back Premier League titles for City in the past two seasons but is already six points behind Jurgen Klopp’s side after 11 games.
Are Man City under pressure? Five things to know…
- City have won the past two Premier League titles, amassing 198 points.
- But they’re already six points behind Liverpool after losing two of their first 11 games.
- Liverpool have won 10 and drawn once during that time.
- Sam Allardyce believes the pressure is “all on” Guardiola when the two sides clash on Sunday.
- Guardiola and Klopp are already feeling the heat, exchanging a war of words regarding Sadio Mane’s “diving”.
Liverpool are unbeaten in the league so far while City have already lost twice, and Allardyce believes the pressure is “all on” Guardiola ahead of Sunday’s game.
“Pep, because he can’t lose,” Allardyce replied when asked by talkSPORT who is under the most pressure going into the game.
“He doesn’t have to win it at all, he’s got to make sure he doesn’t lose it for a certainty. And if he can pinch the win it turns the pressure back on Liverpool.
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“But certainly the pressure is all on Pep and the [Man City] players.
“It’s a very difficult place with the fact Liverpool haven’t lost there [Anfield] in over two years, but if any team can go and win there it would be Manchester City.”
Allardyce: Salah dives more than Mane
The mind games between Guardiola and Klopp have already started, with the Spaniard calling Sadio Mane a ‘diver’ in the wake of Liverpool’s 2-1 comeback win over Aston Villa at the weekend.
In response, Klopp defended his player and made reference to his title rivals’ habit of making ‘tactical fouls’ – a criticism often levelled at Guardiola sides.
And although Allardyce stopped short of defending Mane himself, he actually believes Mohamed Salah is Liverpool’s main culprit for diving.
“I think Mo Salah is more inclined to do that than Mane,” the former Everton boss added.
“Certainly in the last year people were pointing out that Salah was going down too easily and won a huge amount of penalties that perhaps he didn’t quite deserve.
“But if you get the contact you have got to make the referee’s mind up, and you’ve got VAR to determine now whether it is a dive.
“The problem you’ve got here is they are not judging if the contact is accidental. The ruling of ‘intentional’ seems to have gone out the window – it’s just if there is contact.
“Going down in the box, certainly most strikers if they feel contact and are not going to score, will go down.”