EPL

'I do not expect City to drop points' – Klopp cannot see Guardiola's side faltering in title race

By Sports Desk May 16, 2022

Jurgen Klopp predicts that Manchester City will not drop more points, but that does not stop Liverpool from keeping the Premier League title race alive by beating Southampton on Tuesday.

Pep Guardiola's City fought from two goals down at half-time to draw 2-2 at West Ham on Sunday, leaving them four points clear at the top.

Liverpool can cut that gap to just a point heading into the final matchday with a win at Southampton, who have won just one of their last 10 league games.

The Reds have also won eight of their last nine league games with Southampton, netting at least twice in each victory, which could be useful to slice City's goal difference advantage.

Guardiola's side boast a better goal difference by seven, but Klopp suggested it may not come down to that differential as he cannot predict City faltering against Aston Villa next Sunday.

"I don't know the last time City dropped points two games in a row," said Klopp, who became only the second manager to win the European Cup, EFL Cup, the top-flight title and the FA Cup with the same club after defeating Chelsea in the latter competition on Saturday.

"Villa have to play two games in a short space of time, they are professionals, but they are not used to it.

"I do not expect City to drop points there, but our game is tomorrow, and we want to go into the final matchday one point behind."

Nevertheless, Klopp insisted Liverpool will push City to the final day even as he contends with fitness issues, given the Reds played 120 minutes in the FA Cup just days ago.

Mohamed Salah limped off in the first half at Wembley Stadium but Klopp did not appear concerned after the game, while Fabinho remains out as he battles a muscular injury.

"This process is not finished yet, we only played 120 minutes two days ago so when the boys arrive I have to make a lot of decisions," he added.

"We line up a team to try and win the game at Southampton as difficult as it is, that is the job to do and we have to see who is able to help – the 30 extra minutes made a big difference but we have to see.

"This is game 60. When did Southampton have their last game, 10-12 days? They might lack rhythm, but we lose that advantage if we make changes. They are completely fresh.

"Imagine we go there with eight players who played 120 minutes, it makes no sense. We will make changes, I don't know how many. They thought the next day for us to play was Tuesday.

"We can't play Wednesday? UEFA [Europa League final on Wednesday between Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt], my friends."

Regardless of whether City lift the title at Etihad Stadium or Liverpool complete an unlikely turnaround to keep an unprecedented quadruple on the cards, Klopp will see the season as a success.

"If we play a season like we play and we win the EFL Cup and fight for the title until the end, I think it's a good season," he continued.

"The FA Cup is a massive competition. It felt great to win it. It takes the pressure off and makes it more enjoyable."

As for the Champions League final on May 28 with Real Madrid in Paris, Klopp believes his side cannot be labelled as favourites after Carlo Ancelotti's team dominated LaLiga.

"It would be massive if we win in two weeks' time in the Champions League. But we play the most experienced Champions League team," the German said.

"We aren't massive favourites. They have won the league already but between now and then we still have two massive games."

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