Guardiola heaps praise on Liverpool ahead of massive Premier League showdown

    Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has hailed Liverpool’s ‘special character’ ahead of their next weekend’s Premier League showdown

    The Spanish manager oversaw the Citizens’ terrific late comeback against Southampton at the Etihad on Saturday, which kept them lagging six points behind the Reds.

    Jurgen Klopp’s men also managed to turn their Saturday fixture around, beating the newly-promoted Aston Villa 2-1 at Villa Park, thanks to the likes of Andrew Robertson and Sadio Mane.

    After narrowly missing out on the league title last season, the Merseyside giants are setting the pace in the Premier League this term, having won ten of the opening 11 matches.

    Liverpool’s efforts to bring the title back to Anfield after 30 years will face an uphill task next weekend when the reigning holders arrive in the town.

    Well aware of the way the Reds are playing at the moment, Guardiola has heaped praise on their title rivals following City’s 2-1 victory over the Saints.

    “When we won, Liverpool weren’t winning. What happened not once twice it happened a lot of times is because of the talent,” Guardiola said, according to the Manchester Evening News.

    “When they won many games in the last minutes, it’s because they have a special character. It’s good.

    “The first season the 100 points we won four or five games in the last minute and last season we won most of the time more comfortably.

    “It’s the first year in Norwich, for example, we had a lot of chances in the second half we could not convert. Today we could convert the chances, and that was good.”

    The Citizens are in a must-win situation, but their dismal Anfield record of five draws and 11 defeats in 16 Premier League head-to-head meetings here since 2003 shows how much they hate traveling to Liverpool.

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