Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has spoken to the media ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash against Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium.
The treble-winners return to Premier League action this weekend, with Manchester City facing potentially crucial clashes against emerging title rivals Liverpool and Tottenham over the next week.
Manchester City currently top the Premier League table after an enthralling 4-4 draw against Chelsea earlier this month, however just three points currently separate the Sky Blues, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Aston Villa.
Pep Guardiola’s side have won just four of the past 10 meetings with Liverpool, but are unbeaten at the Etihad Stadium since December 2022.
Ederson, Nathan Ake, Sergio Gomez, Rodri, and Erling Haaland have all trained for Manchester City ahead of Saturday’s clash, with the five players having been subject to injury concerns during the recent international break.
Mateo Kovacic and John Stones look set to miss this weekend’s key fixture however, with the latter having made just six appearances so far this season.
An injury update was amongst the topic of discussion at the City Football Academy on Friday afternoon, as Pep Guardiola addressed the media ahead of Saturday’s Premier League fixture against Liverpool.
On the rivalry with Liverpool:
“I think we are all friends. Time goes forward, eight years with Liverpool and not the same team as the start. They are similar of course, Trent Alexander-Arnold can play inside now but the ideas are similar. Always they’ve been our best rivals. Top club, top team, looking forward to it.”
On rivalry being similar to Barcelona and Real Madrid:
“It’s different, I think it’s different. The last decade since I’ve been here they’ve been our best rivals. Every compliment to Liverpool and Man City to still be here.”
On Erling Haaland’s fitness:
“He trained yesterday with some niggles but today we have the last training and hopefully he can be part of it.”
On Everton’s Premier League Charges:
“Why should I not believe [we are innocent]? It’s the lawyers to make the defence in front of the judge. I didn’t change my opinion, we wait and after we accept the resolutions.
“I know people are saying, ‘Why don’t City go to the Conference’. But let’s wait. It’s two different cases, it’s not the same. One of them is longer, it’s more complicated.
“Wait until it’s decided, and I’ll tell you then. You’re questioning me like we have been punished. At the moment, we’re innocent. There is more chance I will stay if we are in League One than if we win the Champions League.”
On squad fitness:
“We have a few problems, The same as many clubs. We will see in the training session and we will see tomorrow. At 6pm I will know for sure which players I will have tomorrow. Always it’s plan A.”
On Manchester City’s start to the season:
“Honestly, I could not expect to be in this position at the start of the season. We have five teams so tight, but we are there. It’s an important game but there’s more to come. December is so tight, we have the [Club] World Cup in Saudi Arabia.”
On Jurgen Klopp:
“He makes me a better manager. Through his teams. The transitions, the space they make in behind, Nunez, Salah. They have a fantastic team, no doubt.”
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