Guardiola Backs Man City To Survive Liverpool Test, Continue Unbeaten Run

Van Dijk not daunted by huge transfer fee

Premier League Liverpool Van Dijk not daunted by huge transfer fee Getty Images

Of the last five Premier League ties prior to October's Etihad meltdown, Liverpool have won four and drawn one. Chelsea has totally dominated this head-to-head series in recent years with a 12-1-1 record in its last 14 games against Leicester. Fortunately for Man City, Guardiola manages like each game is his last, and the club won't lose sight of its goals by overlooking any opponent.

"It is not the first time he goes back".

With their name already effectively engraved on the trophy, the question now turns to whether they can replicate Arsenal's 2003/04 unbeaten league season.

"Of course, I answer all your questions, sometimes I don't know the answers and sometimes I don't answer for my players".

It's up to the wealth of creative options in the Liverpool team to fill the spellbinding duties of the recently departed Brazilian.

"The loss of Coutinho will be hard to stomach at Anfield, even though nobody could claim to be surprised".

That said, nothing comes easy in Europe, and no Premier League game should be taken for granted-even with a 15-point lead at the top of the table.

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But since Champions League action took a back seat the Reds have been more unsafe than ever. Does a Premier League classic await us?

"If you want to win titles, you have to win this kind of games", the Spaniard told a press conference yesterday. "I think two or three weeks, against Basel in the Champions League, he could be ready". He has so far downplayed the possibility of achieving the milestone - "We are going to lose games; it belongs to Arsène Wenger" - but surely the apple is going to grow all too enticing as May draws near.

"It's interesting to play against City".

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Whether it is relevant that Man City's last win at Anfield in 2003 is debatable, since City has become such a well-heeled club in the years since.

January signing Virgil Van Dijk is certainly available for selection after he enjoyed a dream debut during the Merseyside derby against Everton, heading home the winning goal in the 84 minute of the FA Cup clash.

Once Liverpool fans emerge from the bleary-eyed hangover of losing their star player, however, they will turn their attention to the visit of Manchester City to Anfield on Sunday afternoon, and the harshest of opening tests for the post-Coutinho team. With Firminho and Mane also in fine form this is a top three that will look to exploit any weakeness' that appear in the Manchester City back line.

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