Man City v Liverpool

Combined XI: Manchester City vs. Liverpool

Combined XI: Manchester City vs. Liverpool

Pep Guardiola views Manchester City's crunch clash with Liverpool exclusively as an opportunity to revive their Premier League title defence.

Defeat for the Premier League champions would leave them 10 points behind the visitors to the Etihad Stadium.

Questions are being asked of City after they suffered three defeats in the space of four games in December but Guardiola is not entertaining the prospect of another loss.

"They will be seven points behind if they draw that".

Both managers have major selection dilemmas going into this game.

"People are asking what we will do if we lose but we are going to try to win the game, be there and have a chance to fight for the Premier League".

Guardiola insists City will keep fighting for the Premier League title no matter what happens on Thursday evening.

While City have stuttered in recent weeks, Liverpool have been in fine form, winning their last nine games.

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City shot-stopper Ederson, meanwhile, will be encouraged to go long more often than not to quell Liverpool's attacking trio.

"Of course we did it here in the league and the Champions League - but in the league not many people could touch them".

Mo Salah has flitted between right wing and centre forward this season, but has generally played out wide in the matches against big teams. Compatriots Alisson Becker and Ederson are among the league's best goalkeepers, but it is Alisson who usually gets the nod for Brazil, and we are just siding with the Liverpool man too.

"I can not imagine that what happened in the past is going to happen in the future", said Guardiola.

I'm sure Tottenham fans will unashamedly applaud the valour of Liverpool's board in backing its manager; while, Arsenal will feel it may have had some hope of competing if they had also shopped in the aisles of Harrods rather than Poundland. Past year we beat them 5-0 here. "We don't know what we can expect but we are ready for everything". That is the challenge. It's the third of January, it's a very important game for both teams and I would use it as motivation for the other team'.

Manchester City will check on the fitness of Kevin De Bruyne on the morning of the game after the playmaker missed their 3-1 victory at Southampton on Sunday due to a muscle issue. No news is good news, so no.

"It was always very clear that he was a very influential player with the ball, but that he's this good I didn't see it, honestly - maybe because of a different style Roma played".

"My only question of Liverpool would be how they play it".

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