Guardiola has instructed Manchester City to plan for the “incredible challenge” of engaging Liverpool for the Premier League title via getting an early blow against their adversaries in Sunday’s Community Shield.
Pep Guardiola’s side pipped Liverpool to the Premier League by one point last season after an exciting title race went down to the most recent day.
The two clubs restore their developing contention when they meet at Wembley in the annual curtain-raiser to the English top-flight season this end of the week.
While City won a remarkable English treble of Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup last term, and are the bookmakers’ top picks to win the title for a third progressive year, Guardiola is very much aware of the challenge likely to be presented by the Champions League title holder, Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp’s side only lost once in the group last season – at City – and deleted the disappointment of neglecting to get Guardiola’s boys by beating Tottenham to win the club’s 6th European Cup in June.
Regardless of a spat between the pair this week when Guardiola hit back at Klopp’s correspond over City’s huge spending on exchanges as of late, the Spaniard remains an immense admirer of the Liverpool supervisor and the team he has built at Anfield.
“He inspires me in many things. He is a class manager, a top manager. He’s so good and it is an incredible challenge for me every time I face his teams,” Guardiola said.
Guardiola’s bothering at Klopp’s believe that City are one of a bunch of clubs who live in an exchange “fantasy land” lit the wire on what guarantees to be an entrancing 10-month fight for matchless quality among Manchester City and Liverpool.
With Manchester City yet to win the Champions League title and Liverpool without an English title since 1990, it is conceivable they would happily head for a trophy-swap this season.
Yet, Guardiola realizes Community Shield holders City could turn into the first group to win three sequential Premier League titles since Manchester United somewhere in the range of 2006 and 2009, so he won’t make due with just focusing on European title.
“We won almost every trophy; not all of them. It was quite remarkable. We start from zero now. We start again but we are ready to accept the challenge,” he said.
A year prior Guardiola cautioned of a need to make preparations for lack of concern after City’s record 100-point pull in 2017-18.
In any case, this year he is adopting a milder strategy subsequent to being dazzled with his players’ development under serious weight from Liverpool.
“We will be nicer this season. These players convinced me with what they did last season. There are no doubts,” said Guardiola, who may leave Ederson, Riyad Mahrez, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus on the bench after their returns from international duty.
“At the end of last season I didn’t know how well we’d handle our success and I think it was incredible what they did last after 100 points. The target is to keep improving.”
For the RED, the allure friendly match is an opportunity to adjust their arrangements after an uneven pre-season.
Three thrashings and some torpid presentations started fears that Liverpool were enduring a Champions League headache.
Sadio Mane is as yet resting after the Africa Cup of Nations, however with Roberto Firmino, Alisson Becker and Mohamed Salah back in the overlap after international tasks, Liverpool boss looks forward to a sparkling presentation at Wembley.
“When you are tired, you are tired, and it’s quite difficult to then play your best football. Now it’s getting better. The quality of the boys who came back, of course it helps. Because the training was on such a high intensity level in the games sometimes we were really done, said Klopp.
“Unfortunately, we play in public so everybody could see that. But the Lyon game helped. We were not in doubt about that but it’s nice to get the proof as well,” he added.