Pep Guardiola has defended his claim "everybody in this country supports Liverpool", suggesting Manchester City's modern success does not yet compare to the Anfield giants.

Guardiola became the centre of much attention following City's 5-0 win over Newcastle United earlier this month when he gave a remarkable post-match interview to beIN SPORTS.

The Catalan coach responded to discussion of City reclaiming control of the Premier League title race by saying: "One week ago, we were [already] one point in front. But everybody in this country supports Liverpool, the media, everyone."

City are again one point ahead of Liverpool heading into the season's final round of fixtures, certain to win the title if they can beat Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola was asked to explain his comments and suggested they had been lost in translation, although he then suggested Liverpool were indeed favoured in England due to their history.

"I'm pretty sure my English is not good enough after four or five years, so maybe I don't explain well," he told a news conference.

"All I said was when you arrive to win titles, the teams with more tradition, more history winning leagues and winning Champions Leagues, they have more supporters through the media.

"It happens in Spain with Barcelona and Madrid, it happens in Germany with Bayern Munich, it happens in Italy with Milan, Inter and the other ones.

"We are new outsiders in the last decade. We were not there in that moment.

"Of course people don't want Liverpool winning, like us. If you win too much, they don't want you to win again. Of course the Liverpool fans want to win it, other fans don't want them to win it, they prefer us.

"I'm not saying all the country is doing that, but in general, because they are a team with history in terms of titles.

"If you want to deny it, deny it; maybe I'm wrong. But if you compare all the countries around the world, there are two or three or four teams who the people support more than the other ones because they have been there more times.

"Here it's the same. People support more United than the other ones, Liverpool than the other ones, Arsenal when they were there, because they have a lot of history.

"We are new in this position. How many times have we been in this position in our history? How many times? The Aguero moment, Brighton [in 2019], Paul Dickov to be promoted [in 1999] and then... I don't know? It's not much. It's new for us."

Guardiola has gone some way to establishing City among the elite, on the brink of an eighth top-flight title, the fifth-most of all time.

A sixth Premier League triumph – and fourth in five seasons, all under Guardiola – would be the outright second-most behind Manchester United (13).

United's Alex Ferguson (13) alone would rank ahead of Guardiola for championships in the Premier League era, while he could move clear of Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho (both three) for the most top-flight successes by a non-British manager.

The omens are good, too, given City have lost only one of their past 13 final-day matches (to Norwich City in 2012-13) and Guardiola has won five from five, the best 100 per cent record in Premier League history.

Ralf Rangnick has revealed he will meet with incoming Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag over the weekend as he looks to help the Red Devils rebuild after a frustrating campaign.

Rangnick will take charge of his final game at the United helm at Crystal Palace on Sunday, with the Old Trafford outfit only able to finish as high as sixth at the end of a poor Premier League season, while their major trophy drought will now stretch to five years.

Ten Hag will reportedly attend United's match at Selhurst Park, where the Red Devils need to win to guarantee they will not drop to seventh in the final standings, which would mark their joint-worst finish in the Premier League (alongside the 2013-14 season) and see them play Europa Conference League football next term.

Overseeing his final pre-match media conference as United's interim boss before taking on a consultancy role with the club, Rangnick revealed he has already been in contact with Ten Hag and will soon meet him in person to begin the process of overhauling the squad.

The former RB Leipzig director of football also reiterated his belief that United can return to the top of the English game within "two or three" transfer windows if they get their recruitment right.

"We've been in contact via WhatsApp, and hopefully I will have the opportunity to speak and meet in person either over the weekend or by Monday morning at the latest," Rangnick said.

"I'm looking forward to speaking with him in person and getting to know him.

"I still strongly believe that there is a core of players who are top, who are good enough to play for this club, and hopefully most of those players will still be here next season.

"As I said earlier on, if the board, Erik, the scouting department – and I will help them with all the issues that I can – If we can bring in the right mentality of players, the right quality of players, I'm positive that we will be able to bring this club, not only back on track but back to the top.

"This is what it's all about in the next couple of weeks, maybe it will not happen in one transfer window, but I'm very positive it can happen in the next two or three windows."

Rangnick was also asked whether he and Ten Hag had discussed the specifics of the German's new role at Old Trafford, and insisted his experience of recruiting young players could be key in the future.

"We spoke about that in detail, about all the different areas where I could be of help," he added. "It's not that difficult to know in which areas this could be.

"We showed in the last 15 years with [Rangnick's former clubs] Hoffenheim and with [RB] Salzburg and Leipzig, that even with clubs not as prominent as Manchester United, it's possible to identify and develop [young players], that this is possible.

"This is what is most important: that the club finds players for whom it is the next logical step in their career, to develop their sporting career. If that happens, I'm more than positive and I can also hopefully encourage our fans that we will bring Manchester United back to the top."

Meanwhile, Rangnick looked back upon his underwhelming six-month tenure at Old Trafford, claiming his side were on the right track until they fell to a 2-1 aggregate Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid in March.

Rangnick did, however, suggest a lack of team spirit and togetherness had plagued United since then, calling that his "biggest disappointment."

"I think we have to see it in different periods of time," he added. "I think that until we dropped out against Atletico – and this was a vital blow – I think since then we've lost confidence and energy in the team.

"Until then, I think we stabilised the team defensively, compared perhaps to the team that shipped four goals against Watford away [in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's final game in charge]. I think until that Atletico game, we were much more stable defensively, we also had a few games where we scored goals and played well.

"But what didn't happen was that this development happened in a sustainable way, so we couldn't keep that on a regular level, either we had problems scoring goals or to prevent goals being scored against us.

"I think since the Atletico game, we just didn't find our shape, our form, again. This has got to do with confidence, a little bit also with mentality, team spirit, togetherness, and we just fell short in those areas.

"This is, for me, the biggest disappointment, that we didn't manage to develop a certain team spirit that helped us even in the difficult moments of the games and the league, this happens also to other teams… this is, for me, the biggest issue in hindsight."

Pep Guardiola has learned winning titles is not as life-changing as he expected and told potential first-time Premier League champion Jack Grealish his happiness should be the priority.

Guardiola's Manchester City head into the final day of the league season a point ahead of Liverpool, knowing victory against Aston Villa – £100million man Grealish's boyhood club – would clinch the championship.

Unlike for Grealish, though, this is far from Guardiola's first title triumph, winning LaLiga nine times with Barcelona as a player and coach, then adding a hat-trick of Bundesliga crowns at Bayern Munich.

Guardiola is closing on a fourth Premier League success in six years since joining City, but he revealed two days before the Villa match how his perspective of such victories was changed by his first as a player.

"Before winning the first title, I thought it would be the most incredible moment in our lives," Guardiola told a news conference. "But the day after you feel, 'oh, this is all it's about?'

"Because the day after, the sun rises and people start to demand more and more. The satisfaction is there, of course, but after one, two, three days, it's already forgotten. It has to be like that.

"That's why it's nice, because there's a lot of work behind and we have incredible focus to try to do it, but at the end it does not change many lives winning or losing.

"We are going to try. This is the most important thing, to be ourselves and do what we have to do to be proud after the game.

"I think people forgot most of the time: football is a game. A game means unpredictable things, luck, unlucky, a thousand things you cannot control.

"The way we play and the quality of the players we have, we are most of the time in the position to win, because we play to win and are most of the time closer, closer, closer, but there are aspects you cannot control, even if you want to.

"It's a game, football is a game. Something can happen – that's why you have to put it in the right measure.

"We are going to try. Of course, we have incredible desire to win; if we can do it, we will be incredibly happy. But after one or two or three days of celebration with our people, we'll continue and start again."

It was a theme Guardiola returned to later when asked what victory might mean to Grealish, who left Villa last year having won only a Championship play-off final.

"For him, who has never won a Premier League, it must be so exciting, so important, but now he will realise what I said before," his manager said. "The day after, 'oh, everything was about that?'

"He will be happy he has won, but my advice to him is try to be happy as much as possible playing football. This is more important than winning titles. Be happy doing your job.

"After two or three days, you feel, 'all the effort for that?' Okay, it's good, the name in your curriculum vitae, but no more than that.

"What's important is if he feels happy here. If he is comfortable, getting better, getting better, that's the most important thing."

In an entertaining meeting with the media, it was put to Guardiola that this would be a special title for him, too, as the first he has won on his own terms at the Etihad Stadium.

Twice his City were made champions by defeats for rivals Manchester United, while their final-day 2018-19 celebrations came after a win away at Brighton and Hove Albion.

But Guardiola was not convinced, sarcastically replying: "Oh, so nice, so nice. Yeah, good. I would prefer winning two days ago, in Wolves for example."

Mikel Arteta is pleased with the progress made by Arsenal this season, but says financial backing is imperative if the club are to push on next season.

The Gunners enter the final round of Premier League fixtures sitting fifth in the table, two points adrift of fierce rivals Tottenham in the final Champions League spot.

Arsenal's fate had been in their own hands prior to losing back-to-back matches against Spurs and Newcastle United without scoring a goal.

They now need to beat Everton at Emirates Stadium on Sunday and hope that Tottenham fail to win away at already relegated Norwich City.

A fifth-placed finish would still mark Arsenal's best season in three years, though, and Arteta – who signed a new deal earlier this month – is eager to focus on the positives.

"It’s been a long journey and a very challenging one this season but I think we have come a long way as a club," he said at Friday's pre-match news conference.

"As a team I think we have transformed the energy of the club and we’ve done it together. Now I can sense I have the support to take the next step.

"We are back in Europe, hopefully it will be the Champions League, and we want to take the club to the next level.

"We have a clear plan. We need resources and we need to improve the quality and the depth of the squad."

Arsenal have been linked with a number of players ahead of the transfer window opening, with reports on Friday suggesting Marquinhos is close to finalising terms.

While Arteta was unwilling to confirm his interest in Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos, the Spaniard is confident he will get the chance to strengthen his squad.

"When there is a player to announce in the next few weeks, we'll be dealing with that then," he said when asked specifically about Marquinhos.

"We are going to have certain resources, not unlimited resources, certain resources.

"We don't know what the rest are going to have, which I assume is going to be challenging because now it’s not a top three, it’s a top eight.

"This club's history is to be the best in this country. It takes time to get there."

Arsenal have avoided defeat in their final league game in the past 16 seasons, winning the last 10 of those, while at home they are unbeaten on the final weekend since 1992-93.

However, they have lost their past three league games with Everton and are aiming to avoid four losses in a row against them in the competition for the first time since 1924.

Everton make the trip to London with little to play for on the face of it after confirming Premier League safety with a 3-2 victory win against Crystal Palace on Thursday.

That impressive comeback was somewhat overshadowed, though, as Palace boss Patrick Vieira was involved in an altercation when Everton fans ran onto the pitch at full-time.

Merseyside Police and the Football Association are investigating, and Arteta wants to see an end to pitch invasions following a number of high-profile recent incidents.

"We have to stop it and we have to minimise the risk and exposure of players and staff in this situation," he said.

"You cannot control it. When there are so many people involved it becomes dangerous."

An altercation involving Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira on the Goodison Park pitch is being investigated by Merseyside police.

The incident took place in the aftermath of Everton's 3-2 comeback win over Palace in the Premier League on Thursday.

Widely circulated social media footage appeared to show Vieira kicking out at a supporter after being goaded, as Everton fans flooded onto the playing surface after Frank Lampard's team secured their top-flight status.

While Vieira refused to comment on the incident at his post-match news conference, the police have now announced an investigation, while reports suggest the Football Association has launched its own probe.

"Merseyside Police is investigating an altercation on the pitch at Goodison Park following the Everton v Crystal Palace match," read a statement released on Friday. 

"We are working with Everton FC to gather all available CCTV footage and are speaking to witnesses. No formal complaint has been received and enquiries into the incident are ongoing."

Meanwhile, a separate statement released by the force confirmed three men had been arrested for entering – or attempting to enter – Goodison Park with pyrotechnics on Thursday, while another was arrested for a breach of the police but later de-arrested.

The unsavoury scenes follow similar incidents being witnessed at several Football League play-off matches recently – a fan was jailed for assaulting Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp after the team's defeat at Nottingham Forest earlier this week, while pitch invasions have also occurred at Huddersfield Town, Northampton Town, and Port Vale in recent days.

Thomas Tuchel joked Todd Boehly can watch Chelsea games from home in Los Angeles next season after the Blues once again failed to win in front of their incoming new owner.

Boehly was present at Stamford Bridge on Thursday for the Blues' disappointing 1-1 draw with Leicester City in their penultimate Premier League game of a mixed campaign.

The American billionaire, alongside Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjorg Wyss, is reportedly close to finalising a £4.25billion takeover from Roman Abramovich.

But he has yet to see the Blues win up close, having also been in attendance for defeats to Real Madrid, Arsenal and Liverpool, as well as draws with Wolves and now Leicester.

While Chelsea have struggled to perform in front of Boehly so far, Tuchel hopes that will change once the takeover officially goes through.

"Was he here again? Well, that's a clear sign! He will watch on ESPN in Los Angeles next season – that's clear already," Tuchel said. "I mean, if it's like this, this is clear.

"But when we speak we will be very open and very honest with each other. He will he will get my my point of view if he if he wants to have it. 

"We are going to lose key players, of course, and we have struggled lately to win our home games. Plus he was also at the Liverpool game at Wembley. 

"So maybe when the deal is done, and he is our owner, maybe he is the lucky charm that we need. So we give him we give him some more credit."

Chelsea's point against Leicester, after Marcos Alonso cancelled out James Maddison's opener, effectively sealed a third-placed finish for Chelsea in the Premier League.

The Blues lost to Liverpool on penalties in both domestic cup finals this term and were eliminated from the Champions League at the quarter-final stage by Real Madrid.

With just one more game to come in 2021-22, at home to Watford on Sunday, Tuchel reflected on what has been an up-and-down campaign.

"I don't judge seasons like this because in the moment, while you're doing it as a manager, it always feels challenging and demanding," he said.

"In the moment you have to adapt to the situation and try to find a solution. It's always challenging.

"That can be from results, from the atmosphere in the dressing room, from crazy things like sanctions, which nobody could have predicted.

"So it has been challenging, it has been demanding, but it has also been a lot of fun and this is a pure pleasure to be in the middle of it and to still be a part of it."

Chelsea are set to lose a number of key players on free transfers in the coming weeks and are unable to bring in replacements until their takeover is finalised.

Tuchel has already seen leaders Manchester City strengthen with the addition of Erling Haaland, while Liverpool recruited Luis Diaz from Porto in January.

The situation at Stamford Bridge my remain unclear for now, but Tuchel wants to be active in the upcoming transfer window.

"First of all, of course I think we can do better next season. It's not a lot, just these margins," he said. "We will look into the new season.

"It is like this, but we have lacked huge quality without the injured N'Golo [Kante], Ben Chilwell, Reece James, if you see him in the last weeks.

"It is maybe a miracle we are in the top three the whole season without these key players because we missed them for weeks and weeks and weeks and it never stopped for us. 

"Maybe this just needs to change so that we have everybody available. Liverpool bought a fantastic player in the winter to make the existing squad stronger. 

"Man City signed Haaland already to make the existing squad stronger. We are losing players so at the moment my focus is to build a strong team and see what's possible."

Nemanja Matic hailed Cristiano Ronaldo as "an example to everyone" and a "winner", as the midfielder prepares to make his final Manchester United appearance on the final day of the season.

Having joined United from Chelsea in 2017, Matic will depart Old Trafford as a free agent after the Red Devils travel to Crystal Palace for their final Premier League outing of the campaign on Sunday.

Matic has made 23 league appearances for United this term, although the Red Devils can only finish as high as sixth after enduring a frustrating campaign under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick. 

The form of Ronaldo has been one positive during United's underwhelming season, with the Portuguese legend scoring 18 goals in 30 league appearances since returning to Old Trafford at the start of the campaign.

As he prepares to play his final game for United, Matic told the club's official media channels he was proud to have been able to share a dressing room with Ronaldo, hailing the striker's influence.

"He's a fantastic player. He's an example to everyone, an example to young guys," he said of the 37-year-old. 

"It's very important for them to see how he behaves every day and how he approaches the games and the training sessions. He's a winner. 

"He's a great character and a very nice man outside of the pitch. I'm very pleased I had the opportunity to share the dressing room with him."

Ronaldo's 18 Premier League goals this season make it his second-most prolific campaign in the competition, after he scored 31 times in 2007-08. However, just four of Ronaldo's league goals have come away from home this season ahead of Sunday's trip to Selhurst Park.

Meanwhile, among all players to have scored 100 or more goals in Premier League history, Ronaldo has netted the highest percentage of his strikes in home games (70 per cent, 71/102).

Matic, meanwhile, says he is yet to decide on his next move, and has refused to rule out a move abroad after spending over eight years in the Premier League with Chelsea and United.

"I haven't decided yet. Let's finish the season and in June probably I will decide my future. But nothing is decided yet," he added. "All options are open for me and let's see." 

With United already looking ahead of the imminent arrival of Ajax coach Erik ten Hag, the 33-year-old also reassured Red Devils fans that the future at Old Trafford was bright, thanking them for their support during a difficult era at the club.

"I just want to say thank you for the fantastic support. I know that we had a couple of difficult seasons, but I just want them to know that us at the training ground, we're doing our best and United will come back, for sure," he added.

"It's going to take some time, but United will be back and just keep supporting the team. Stay together."

Antonio Rudiger has professed he will "always be Chelsea" as he prepares to leave the Stamford Bridge club at the end of the season.

The 29-year-old defender has established himself as an important figure since Thomas Tuchel took charge of the Blues last year but will leave the club next month after the expiration of his contract – with Real Madrid widely seen as his likely destination.

Rudiger has played 33 Premier League games for Chelsea this term, contributing to 14 clean sheets as Tuchel's men secured a top-four finish, and will make his final appearance against Watford on Sunday.

Writing about his imminent departure for The Players' Tribune, Rudiger emphasised his emotional connection to the club, where he has become a fans' favourite since arriving in 2017.

The Germany international recalled one instance where he was on the receiving end of abuse from a Chelsea fan, which turned into a moment of solidarity, saying he will always be grateful for the support shown to him in west London. 

"This one guy in the crowd started shouting abuse at me," Rudiger said, looking back on a 6-0 loss to Manchester City in 2019. "He was maybe five metres away, looking me right in the eyes. 

"Listen, I have heard abuse all my life, but this was different. It was really personal. I shouted to him, 'Hey, if you want to talk, then come down here, and we can have a conversation'.

"Of course, he didn't even take one step. Immediately, he stopped shouting. And what was remarkable to me was that all the fans around him turned to him and said, 'Hey, what are you doing? What's wrong with you?' The fans – the real fans – started cheering for me even louder. 

"It was so overwhelming that even the idiot started clapping, too. The other fans literally made him clap and apologise to me. 

"I will never forget that. Never. There is hatred in the football world, for sure. That's a fact. I have experienced the worst of it. But there is also a lot of joy, too. At Chelsea, I experienced both extremes. 

"Yes, I heard the abuse. But I also felt the love. At the end of the day, the light was stronger than the darkness. For that, I will always be Chelsea."

Although he never lifted the Premier League trophy with Chelsea, Rudiger has played a key role in Europa League, FA Cup and Champions League triumphs during his time with the club.

Having fallen out of favour under Frank Lampard, he rediscovered his form under Tuchel as Chelsea were crowned European champions last season, although his final campaign at Stamford Bridge has been plagued by off-pitch uncertainty.

However, Rudiger reiterated the takeover saga that has surrounded the club for much of 2022 had little bearing on his decision to leave, noting talks over a new contract had already begun to stall last year.

"Chelsea will always be in my heart," he wrote. "London will always be my home. I came here alone, and now I have a wife and two beautiful kids. I also have a new brother for life named Kova [Mateo Kovacic]. 

"I have an FA Cup, a Europa League and a Champions League medal. And of course, I have hundreds of memories that will stay with me forever. 

"Unfortunately, my contract negotiations had already started to get difficult last fall. Business is business, but when you don't hear any news from the club from August to January, the situation becomes complicated.

"After the first offer, there was a long gap of just nothing. We're not robots, you know? You cannot wait for months with so much uncertainty about your future."

Eddie Howe has dismissed reports Newcastle United are on the verge of signing Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

England international Henderson has spent the majority of this season on the bench at Old Trafford behind David de Gea, who started the campaign between the posts after his team-mate contracted coronavirus.

Opportunities since recovering from COVID-19 have been limited for Henderson, with first-team football said to be his priority in a World Cup year.

Links to big-spending Newcastle have been persistent – a swap deal with Magpies number one Martin Dubravka was even mooted in January.

And reports this week suggested Henderson had been on Tyneside for talks ahead of a move, either on loan or in a huge £40million transfer.

But Newcastle coach Howe, speaking ahead of Sunday's season-ending trip to Burnley, said on Friday: "No, we're not close to signing anyone at this moment in time.

"We're not at an advanced stage with that."

Howe, who has suggested Newcastle's budget may be more modest than widely anticipated, added: "It's very difficult for me to comment on individual players, because I'd be giving you an answer on every target.

"But that [Henderson report] is far from the truth."

Despite entering the final round of Premier League fixtures comfortable in mid-table, Newcastle have conceded 61 goals this season – 10 more than relegation-threatened Burnley.

Divock Origi will leave Anfield a "Liverpool legend" with tributes from Jordan Henderson and Jurgen Klopp, who described the striker as "one of the most important players I ever had".

Despite being a fringe player for much of his time on Merseyside, Origi has become a Liverpool icon thanks to a series of vital goals.

Most notably, the Belgium international scored twice in an epic Champions League semi-final comeback against Barcelona, before making sure of the Reds' final triumph with another strike versus Tottenham.

Origi has also enjoyed a sensational record in derbies against Everton, scoring six times in the Premier League – twice as many as he has netted against any other team in the competition.

However, his contract is up at the end of the season, and while James Milner, in the same situation, could yet stay at Liverpool, Klopp confirmed the imminent departure of an Anfield favourite.

Asked if Origi and Milner could expect special receptions against Wolves in the final home game of the season, Klopp said: "We can only do that if we know it definitely."

But he added to his press officer: "I think that's only Div, right?"

Captain Henderson had suggested as much in his pre-match programme notes, published ahead of Klopp's news conference.

Pointing out Origi had scored the winner in the reverse fixture at Wolves, Henderson wrote: "It looks like today [Sunday] will be Divock's last at Anfield for Liverpool, so I hope he gets the kind of send-off he deserves.

"Actually I know that he will because he has been such a special player for us, but he is also an incredible person who has taken this city and its people to his heart. 

"His legacy will be his achievements for this club, but it will also be the good causes he has supported, like the local students he is helping to put through university.

"Today should be a celebration no matter what happens, and as club captain I will certainly be celebrating Divock and wishing him all the best for the future. The big fella deserves nothing less."

Klopp added: "I expect Divock to get a special reception or farewell or whatever. He is and will be for me forever a Liverpool legend, one of the most important players I ever had.

"That sounds completely strange [with] the amount of games he had, but it is and was a pure joy to work together with him. It's not over yet, just because it's the last Premier League game.

"He deserves all good thoughts we can generate somehow for his future. Wherever he will go, he will be a success 100 per cent.

"He is an outstanding player, outstanding boy, everybody in the team loves him. He's such a relaxed guy, a lovable guy

"It will be a harsh moment when he actually leaves. For us, it will not be now, but whenever he leaves, it will be harsh. Since I'm here, Div is here.

"I remember so many things about Div that are incredible. Important goals, injuries, bad injuries, all these kind of things, ups and downs, so he is a Liverpool legend, no doubt."

Klopp had been asked about the possibility of other exits, with Takumi Minamino among those on the fringes, and he replied: "I don't want to see anyone leave, but that's life, that's the situation.

"Nobody came to me and said, 'I want to go', no agent called me. We will see what happens. Honestly, it's not the time."

Indeed, Klopp said he has "no idea who wants to go" and urged focus instead on the final two matches of the season, which could yet add Premier League and Champions League titles to their EFL Cup and FA Cup wins.

Henderson said: "The final home game of the season is always a special occasion. It's something that the players, staff and our families all look forward to, particularly if it has been a decent campaign, because Anfield feels even more festive than usual. 

"It is also something that is especially true today as we head towards the last game of a season which will go down as one of the most incredible in the history of this great club.

"As things stand, it is not yet incredible in terms of trophies. Up to now we have won the two domestic cups and, while that is absolutely brilliant, we still want more, and we are also well aware that previous Liverpool teams have won more.

"But in terms of playing every possible game in every competition, fighting to the very end in all four, and creating stories and memories that will live with all of us forever, it could only be described as incredible."

Jurgen Klopp sees no need to call Steven Gerrard as a means to provide the Liverpool legend with extra motivation when his Aston Villa side attempt to deny Manchester City the Premier League title this weekend.

Liverpool's quest for what would be a remarkable quadruple is reliant upon the Reds beating Wolves at Anfield, while hoping Villa can deny Pep Guardiola's side three points at the Etihad Stadium in a mouth-watering final day.

Fans of football romanticism will revel in the fact Gerrard, a man who famously failed to win the Premier League in his distinguished Liverpool career, can help his former club in their bid for history.

Klopp acknowledged the fact internally Gerrard may want to help Liverpool secure the third of four trophies they can still win, but that the former England midfielder would have been going all out for the win regardless.

"I can think of these situations only by thinking of myself in this role, so if I would play a game and could help Dortmund or could help Mainz, whatever, it would mean an extra motivation, that's how it is," Klopp told a pre-match news conference.

"But I don't play, Stevie doesn't play. That's a shame. Much more a shame Stevie doesn't play than I don't play! So, of course we are all human beings and have these things - Stevie will take it 100 per cent serious without me calling him, I don't have to. 

"A really good example I think is last night's game with Crystal Palace [a match the Eagles lost 3-2 to Everton, who secured Premier League safety]. 

"One of the most important games for Everton in their history, Crystal Palace turns up and plays incredible football. They played really good, they lost, congratulations to Everton for staying up. They played to win, Aston Villa plays to win."

Liverpool were Premier League champions in the coronavirus-disrupted 2019-2020 season, ending a 30-year wait for a top-flight title.

On that occasion, there was no trophy parade due to the COVID-19 enforced restrictions, with Klopp insisting celebrations would happen when the time is right.

For Klopp, whatever happens in the title race and the outcome of their Champions League final against Real Madrid next week, there is plentiful reason to celebrate in a season full of "joy" at a victory parade planned for May 29.

"We have so many reasons to celebrate. I think it's enough to celebrate life. Of course, Carabao Cup, FA Cup, I know we didn't have parade two years ago so I am happy we can deliver what I promised that time," he added.

"It's about us what we want to celebrate, couldn't care less what others say. It's just for us, it's just for Liverpool FC. It's just to celebrate that we are together in this moment of time. That's enough to celebrate but this May 29th will be a great day.

"It's been tough but great, a joy to be part of this season. It's exceptional this group. In this building, it's insane. These people are a pure joy.

"It's so rare this and you cannot plan it. But the boys did it. Fed by the people here, the fans, it's a fantastic time."

Klopp also offered his thoughts on the increasingly concerning scenes in English football this week relating to pitch invasions.

Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp was attacked by a supporter following the Blades' penalty shoot-out loss in the Championship play-offs semi-final to Nottingham Forest, while Patrick Vieira was involved in an altercation with a spectator in Palace's 3-2 loss to Everton.

"It's been 83 minutes, some fathers and sons were on the pitch, they lose their minds for their sons too, I didn't get that. It could have been dangerous," Klopp said.

"I'm not sure how you avoid that, I don't want to judge, I understand emotions but for the other team it's dangerous.

"I really hope we learn from that. It's just like it is. We should make sure absolutely nothing happens.

"We can celebrate things without threatening ourselves and the opponent."

Jurgen Klopp understands Mohamed Salah would be keen to play on the final day of the Premier League season and clinch the Golden Boot, but neither Liverpool nor the player are willing to take any risks with his fitness.

Salah sustained a groin injury in Liverpool's FA Cup final win over Chelsea last weekend and missed the midweek victory at Southampton that keeps the Reds in contention for the title.

There could yet be a double celebration for Klopp's men on Sunday, with City only one point ahead while Salah (22 goals) narrowly leads Son Heung-min (21) in the scoring charts.

But given Liverpool also have the Champions League final against Real Madrid to consider the final week, they have to be sure Salah is fit to play.

The winger – who has been nominated for the PFA Fans' Player of the Year, alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Conor Gallagher and Declan Rice – is not the cup winners' only injury concern either.

Virgil van Dijk (knee) was also injured at Wembley, while Fabinho (hamstring) hobbled out of the prior match against Aston Villa. Joe Gomez, who has a history of serious injuries, had an ankle problem at Southampton.

"Joe has good news," Klopp said ahead of Sunday's match against Wolves. "We want a reassuring further scan, but the first was like he and we thought after the game – we were lucky.

"It was a proper knock, but nothing happened. It's the leg where he was injured, so I understand 100 per cent everyone was concerned; I was, until I saw Joe's face in the dressing room, because most of the time we know best about our body.

"The result of this [second] scan is not here yet, but we don't expect anything really different. It's just about reassuring it's all fine.

"And then from there, we go. If it's fine, then it's about pain: how can he deal with pain? We'll see what Joe can do today or tomorrow, but I don't know at the moment.

"With the other boys, it looks all good. What we do with them at the weekend, I have no idea.

"I understand 100 per cent the goalscoring battle with Son Heung-min, but there is no chance we take any risk; Mo doesn't want to take any risk, there's no doubt about that.

"But it looks good, the boys made steps. We will see.

"My preferred solution would be they all could play at the weekend, for rhythm reasons, stuff like this, or at least could be on the bench and we could bring them on or not. But if not, then we take it from there. I cannot say 100 per cent."

Richarlison told Liverpool legend and prominent pundit Jamie Carragher to "wash your mouth" and "I don't respect you" after helping Everton secure Premier League survival.

The Toffees were in a desperate situation at half-time of Thursday's clash with Crystal Palace at Goodison Park, trailing 2-0 to goals from Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan Ayew.

However, Michael Keane reduced the deficit and Richarlison equalised to set up a blockbuster finish that saw Dominic Calvert-Lewin score an 85th-minute winner to ensure Frank Lampard's side staved off relegation with a game to spare.

Ex-Liverpool defender Carragher has taken aim at Richarlison in the past, particularly over what he perceived to be play-acting in matches against Liverpool and Chelsea.

Carragher, a former England defender, later wrote on social media that his assessment of the Brazil forward was "nothing to do with bias".

But Richarlison clearly has not forgotten the criticism and took the opportunity to hit back at Carragher.

He posted on Twitter: "Wash your mouth before you talk about me and Everton and I don't respect you."

Everton round out their season with a trip to Arsenal on Sunday, with the Gunners needing a win to have any hope of beating rivals Tottenham in the race for the top four.

Tick-tock, tick-tock. It appears time will finally run out on Sunday and the Kylian Mbappe transfer saga will finally be at its end.

Paris Saint-Germain have experienced another monumental blow this season with another cruel elimination in the Champions League and Real Madrid are waiting in the wings.

According to reports, the 23-year-old will finally announce his decision on Sunday.

TOP STORY – MBAPPE TO CONFIRM DECISION ON SUNDAY  

Kylian Mbappe will announce whether he will play for Paris Saint-Germain or Real Madrid on Sunday, according to L'Equipe.

The Parisian has never hidden his admiration for LeBron James and appears set to mimic his 'The Decision' announcement from 2010.

What is for certain according to reports, Mbappe is intent on announcing the decision before the France national team meets up for camp in Clairefontaine on May 28.

While it has been recently reported a move to Real Madrid seems likelier, talks are still ongoing according to the L'Equipe report, with PSG aiming to scupper a potential move at the last minute.

ROUND-UP

– Meanwhile, France team-mate and Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba had agreed personal terms with Manchester City, according to the Times, but backed out in fear of fan backlash and now appears likely to move abroad.

– Along with Pogba, Juventus are also hoping to further bolster their midfield stocks and sign Chelsea midfielder Jorginho, the Gazzetta dello Sport reports.

– Diario AS is reporting Paulo Dybala has ruled out a move to Tottenham once his contract with Juve expires at the end of the season.

– Kalidou Koulibaly has emerged as a target for Barcelona, who would be willing to add Miralem Pjanic as part of a package deal for Napoli, per Fichajes.

We are at the final gameweek of the Premier League fantasy football season, and the moment of truth has arrived – not for Manchester City and Liverpool, but for the fantasy players out there.

Balancing between premium players and those who can provide particular value could be the difference at this time of the season, whether you need to consolidate or make up ground.

Stats Perform has you covered with some Opta-powered recommendations below, so here are our suggestions for this week's picks.

HUGO LLORIS (Norwich City v Tottenham)

A good start at this point of the season is determining which teams have something to play for, and with Champions League qualification on the line, Tottenham are one of the more relevant examples this weekend.

Sitting on 15 for the season so far, Hugo Lloris is one clean sheet away from recording his most in a single Premier League campaign, with only Alisson and Ederson ahead of him on 20.

The 35-year-old has made a solid 2.65 saves per 90 on the way to his 15 clean sheets, holding that bit of extra motivation coming into the final round.

ANDREW ROBERTSON (Liverpool v Wolves)

Liverpool need to win to keep their Premier League hopes alive, and they will likely have the majority of the ball against Wolves on Sunday. Expect crosses and dead balls.

As a result, expect as ever for Liverpool's full-backs to be prominent, and Andrew Robinson is just one shy of recording 50 assists in the Premier League. He would become only the second defender to do so, after Leighton Baines.

He is averaging more assists per 90 (0.37) and chances created per 90 (2.02) for Liverpool this season than in any of his previous campaigns.

CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN (Brentford v Leeds United)

Granted, Brentford have little to play for aside from professional pride, but Christian Eriksen's return to the Premier League has reinforced his transformative quality as a footballer. They're also playing Leeds.

The 30-year-old has either scored or assisted in five of his nine Premier League starts this season, while only Kevin de Bruyne has created more chances than him per 90 this term. 

While Eriksen also trails De Bruyne for assists since the 2013-14 season on 66, this season has seen him create a chance every 32 minutes on average.

MICHAIL ANTONIO (Brighton and Hove Albion v West Ham)

Despite West Ham's elimination in the Europa League at the hands of eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt, the season is not over. The Hammers still need a win to stand a chance of taking that last Europa League spot from Manchester United.

Another goal for Michail Antonio would see him score at least 10 goals in three consecutive seasons, which would also make him the first West Ham player to do so in the Premier League. 

He also has 17 goal involvements for the season, his most in the competition.

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