Man City boss Pep Guardiola encourages Newcastle to ‘score as many goals as possible’ against title rivals Liverpool but does not believe his side will win the Premier League on goal difference as they in 2012
- Manchester City are just one point ahead of Liverpool at the top of the league
- Liverpool need to draw and City to lose for it to be decided on goal difference
- Pep Guardiola said he doesn’t think the title will come down to that margin
- Guardiola insisted Jurgen Klopp’s contract extension will not affect his future
Pep Guardiola cannot envisage a repeat of Manchester City’s dramatic title triumph a decade ago – even though they remain just a point ahead of Liverpool.
City pipped Manchester United to the 2012 Premier League crown on goal difference, secured by Sergio Aguero’s stoppage-time winner on the final day.
But Guardiola believes this season’s battle will be decided by points, given it would take Liverpool to draw and City lose for the destination of the trophy to be determined by the finest of margins.
Man City boss Pep Guardiola cannot envisage his side winning the title on goal difference
‘I don’t think that is going to happen. It could but I don’t think so,’ Guardiola said.
‘The difference is one point. If we draw and they win, [Liverpool are ahead]. Of course if we can score as many goals as possible, I encourage Newcastle to score as many goals as possible!’
Liverpool face Newcastle first today in the lunchtime kick-off at St James’ Park before City’s evening trip to Leeds United.
Guardiola insisted that Jurgen Klopp’s decision to extend his contract at Anfield until 2026 will not sway him on his own future.
Sergio Aguero’s stoppage-time winner on the final day secured City’s title win in 2012
As Sportsmail reported last month, there is a feeling around City that Guardiola could commit beyond 2023.
The expected signing of Erling Haaland, which City are confident of securing, significantly bolsters their squad ahead of next season and they are searching for a central midfielder.
‘I could not visualise being at a better place,’ Guardiola said. ‘We have an incredible relationship with the directors. [But] honestly, I’m so busy with the last few weeks of the season.
‘I’m enjoying this part of the season. What I want for us to be fresh in our minds, souls and legs.’
Jurgen Klopp penned a new contract this week extending his stay at Anfield until 2026
Guardiola also claimed that an unhelpful schedule is par for the course if teams want to lift every trophy after Klopp had asked the league to move Saturday’s game amid a tight turnaround from midweek.
‘How many times have we discussed about what’s happened to us?’ Guardiola said. ‘It’s not going to change because the broadcasters are thinking about what they have to do to get more viewers.
‘If I’m not satisfied I go home and don’t be manager of Man City. I go to another league in the Maldives, the Maldives League, and play one game a week and I’m so comfortable under the coconuts. It would be so perfect. But it’s not the case. You are playing at 12.30, I’m sorry Liverpool but I’m not involved with that.’