Guardiola SNUBS Arsenal: "Liverpool will always be our biggest rivals"
Despite the Reds trailing City by more than 10 point on the table, Guardiola still sees Klopp's side as their main threat
Jurgen Klopp said that Liverpool won't be in the title race this season, but Pep Guardiola isn't letting the German lower expectations just yet. The Spanish coached was asked on the Reds situation ahead of their clash on the weekend and the Manchester City manager was adamant that he still sees Klopp's side as his biggest rivals.
Guardiola thinks that Liverpool will still be Manchester City's primary title rivals this season while ignoring Arsenal's Premier League challenge. After Jurgen Klopp's team was edged out of the title by just a point last season, this season the Reds trail City by 13 points going into their Premier League matchup at Anfield. But Guardiola isn't giving Klopp's side any leeway just yet.
"[They] always have been [our biggest rivals], always it is, and will be. I know the quality they have, the character", explained Guardiola, "If I answered this question with five or 10 games left I'd say I think Liverpool cannot catch the top of the league - in this case Arsenal - but being in the position we are and with the World Cup still to come, everything can happen".
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager made it clear he doesn't look at Liverpool's standings this season when preparing for the game: "The opinion I have about this team does not change because of their situation in the table, not for one second. It always has been difficult in the years since we arrived together so it's a tough game. The game will be dictated by what happens on the pitch, not because we are in front or behind".
Be it as it may, a big part of Manchester City's danger going against Liverpool's defence will fall with Erling Haaland. The Norwegian is on pace for a record-breaking season, but he was out of City's last game in the Champions League. However, Pep Guaridiola quickly dispelled any Reds fans' hopes that he might also be missing during their visit to Anfield: "[Haaland] was tired, and Bernardo and others as well, but they feel good and are ready for Sunday".