Pep Guardiola Confident For Man City Title Run-in
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Gary Neville has insisted the Premier League title race is far from over as he predicted Manchester City will suffer a “shock” over their next two matches. Pep Guardiola’s side take on Wolves and West Ham over the next week but will do so without the injured Ruben Dias – an absence which Neville feels will provide Liverpool with “a boost”.
City closed in on a fourth Premier League title in five years with a thumping 5-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday to capitalise on Liverpool’s slip-up against Tottenham. The turn of events saw Guardiola’s side open up a three-point advantage over the Reds atop the Premier League standings, and better their goal difference, with a mere three matches of the season remaining.
However, Neville believes this season’s twists and turns are far from finished just yet. The former Manchester United defender predicted City will suffer a “shock” against Wolves or West Ham, while he highlighted the significance of the injury sustained by Dias, which saw him substitute at half-time on Sunday.
“I do believe Wolves or West Ham could shock Manchester City,” Neville told The Gary Neville Podcast. “With Ruben Dias injured, they are going to teams who have got systems of play that can hurt City. Both teams have had good seasons. They are awkward. City will need to be at their best.
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“The centre-back partnership has been obliterated. The injury is a boost for Liverpool’s chances. I do think there is something left in this title race. It won’t go plain sailing to the end.”
City travel to Wolves on Wednesday night before facing a potentially testing trip to West Ham on Sunday, as the Hammers still harbour hopes of pipping United to a Europa League qualification spot. Guardiola’s side will then finish their campaign by hosting Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa on the final day of the season.
By contrast, Liverpool face trips to Villa and Southampton, before rounding off their campaign against Wolves at Anfield. Neville added that should City emerge from their next two fixtures unscathed, he believes they will retain their Premier League crown, but predicted Liverpool to pile on the pressure by winning all of their remaining fixtures.
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He added: “If City get through the next two, they’ll win it. Wolves or West Ham have to pull points off City but it’s not over.
“If Liverpool had to pick two away games to send City to it probably would be Arsenal and Tottenham, but after that, it would be West Ham and Wolves. Manchester United have gone and Chelsea have dropped their levels.
“There is a lot to play for. It’s good for the league that Liverpool are playing first and can get level. I don’t think Liverpool will drop points. They will do their job.”
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