Liverpool have few weaknesses to exploit, Pep Guardiola says ahead of clash

The champions host the Reds on Sunday having seen their lead at the top of the Premier League cut to a single point.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is trying to pinpoint weaknesses in the Liverpool side (Isaac Parkin/PA)

By Andy Hampson, PA

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola admits there are few weaknesses in the Liverpool side for his team to exploit.

The champions host the Reds on Sunday having seen their lead at the top of the Premier League cut to a single point by Jurgen Klopp’s in-form outfit.

City – albeit having played more games – led by 14 points at one stage but Liverpool, on a 10-game winning run, have been relentless in their pursuit and Guardiola is well aware of their strengths.

Guardiola said: “In the times we’ve played against them (there) are always many games during the game, many decisions, many actions, many details for both sides.

“I think both teams are good but we try to discover the weak points that they have. They are few but we try to expose them.

“At the same time, we are at home with our people so must be ourselves. We’ve played them many times already, not just in the Premier League, and they were always very tight and good games.”

Guardiola anticipates there will be some difficult moments for City but that is where he feels the home crowd will have an important role to play.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool head to the Etihad Stadium having won 10 Premier League games in succession (Peter Byrne/PA)

Liverpool have not won in their last five league visits to the Etihad Stadium and Guardiola hopes City’s fans can help keep it a tough place for them to play.

Guardiola said: “We know we are going to defend part of the game and sit back – not because we want to but because it’s almost impossible (not to) for the way they (play).

“Hopefully our people, I’m sure, will support us in the bad moments. They have to be there, aggressive to support us in the bad moments we will have.

“I am sure our players will respond because I saw they are ready to face the challenge Liverpool are going to give us.”

City are still without centre-back Ruben Dias, who has been sidelined for the past month with a thigh injury. Right-back Kyle Walker will return after missing the Champions League victory over Atletico Madrid on Tuesday through suspension.

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