Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes those covering football in England would much prefer Liverpool to become champions rather than his side.
Both teams are currently locked in an intense battle to be crowned English champions with one Premier League match remaining this season.
2018/19 title race: Five things to know…
- With one match left Manchester City are on 95 points and Liverpool have 94.
- Both teams are on incredible winning streaks: Liverpool have won their last eight while City have won 13 in a row.
- Whoever misses out will claim the record for most points without being champions.
- Liverpool have lost one game all season: away to Manchester City (2-1) on January 3.
- City can become the first team to successfully defend the Premier League since Manchester United in 2009.
But it is City who head into the final weekend holding the advantage. Guardiola’s men lead by a single point and travel to a Brighton & Hove Albion, who recently maintained their top-flight status.
Liverpool, meanwhile, face ‘best of the rest’ Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield knowing they will be depending on Brighton to get a result as well as themselves.
For a while on Monday evening it seemed the pendulum was swinging back in the Reds’ direction before Vincent Kompany’s screamer ensured City’s fate is still in their own hands.
It’s been well-documented that Jurgen Klopp’s team are desperate to end Liverpool’s wait for a championship which is edging into a third decade, something Guardiola feels is prevalent in the coverage of the Premier League.
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“We know how important it is – we know it’s not done,” he told reporters following their 1-0 win over Leicester City.
“I know my feeling here, how the media desire Liverpool will be champions. But 195 points in two seasons, you know…
“It’s something unique. We were seven points behind and it would have been 10 if Liverpool had beaten us here. But we never gave up and have won 13 games in a row.”
Could there be a play-off?
Although unlikely, there’s a chance the title will not be decided this weekend if two improbable scenarios were to happen simultaneously.
If Liverpool were to draw 4-4 with Wolves and Manchester City lose 4-0 at Brighton, that will put both sides level on 95 points, with the same goal difference of +65, and having scored 91 goals and conceded 26 each.
Now, given how each of the four sides have been playing of late, it’s a tad unlikely to occur. But if it did, unfortunately for Manchester City it won’t go to head-to-head. Instead, we will be treated to a one-off play-off game likely held at Wembley.
Such an event nearly happened in 1996 but Manchester United got the job done at Newcastle United’s expense.