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Man City news: Pep Guardiola aims dig at Liverpool ahead of crunch showdown | Football | Sport


Nineteen months on from the assault on their team coach ahead of a Champions League quarter final in April last year, Guardiola made clear his hopes that they get into the stadium unscathed.

Yet he admitted that even if they get there in tact silencing the atmosphere Anfield can whip up could prove to be mission impossible.

Guardiola is still seething about the hostile reception dished out to his side in April 2018 in which the team coach was pelted with bottles and stones and had to be replaced for the trip back to Manchester.

And on Friday he was in no mood to douse the flames insisting Merseyside Police knew about and did nothing to stop the assault.

“The police knew about for the Champions League game before and didn’t do anything,” he said. “Hopefully it’s not going to happen again when we arrive, which was more than one bottle.”

The final part of that quote refuted Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s suggestion on Friday that it was a solitary bottle.

Yet if the two managers will not agree on how the assault on the coach was orchestrated or what was thrown, they both agree on the passion and the fire which Anfield can whip up on big occasions.

Asked why Anfield is such a difficult venue to play at, Guardiola said: “Because they’re an exceptional team, the stadium makes an influence of course, the history speaks for itself. It is something special.

“But its the quality of the team and what they do, the quality for the players and the manager that they have. Right now I would say it’s the toughest stadium in Europe to go to.

“I didn’t like what happened in the bus outside the stadium but in the stadium when they support the team, it’s perfect, it’s lovely, that’s why we’re involved in this business, to be involved in this kind of experience in these stadiums.”

The loss of Ederson as well as longer term injuries to Rodri, Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane, not to mention Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the season, have stacked the odds against City on Sunday.

Yet Guardiola echoed Klopp’s comment earlier this week when he insisted nothing will be decided by the outcome of this game for all that Liverpool can stretch their lead over City to nine points.

He said: “I think in November it never ends. I know what is going to happen if we lose people will say it (the title) is over but there are a lot of games to play and experience in sport is that you have to fight until the end.

“After that there will be all the games we are going to play after Sunday. So I don’t know if it will be over.

“I know it will be more difficult. If in one season they’ve lost one game and this season they are unbeaten you have to imagine they are not going to lose too many games.”

Manchester City (4-3-3): Bravo; Walker, Stones, Fernandinho, Mendy; De Bruyne, Gundogan, B Silva; Mahrez, Aguero, Sterling

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