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Pep Guardiola reveals why he will love toppling Liverpool

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he “loves” the challenge of taking on Liverpool for the Premier League title with a heavier schedule.

City have already claimed the League Cup and have reached the final of the FA Cup, while they face Spurs tomorrow for a place in the Champions League semi-final with an unprecedented quadruple still in sight.

Liverpool though have pushed the champions all the way and with five games remaining there is no sign of any let up from Anfield. Guardiola has acknowledged Liverpool’s incredible stats this term, but as he pointed out on Tuesday, his City side could have faced as many as 11 more games than Jurgen Klopp’s men by May.

Guardiola says he relishes the challenge, but admits his side have surprised him this time around.

“I was aware last season that we would not be able to do what we have done, especially in the Premier League. I am the most surprised guy in this organisation because I didn’t expect to have 83 points with five games to play,” said Guardiola.

“The target is 98 because otherwise we will not be champions. I know how difficult our fixtures are and we play Tottenham and then the derby at Old Trafford and Burnley. All the games are tough. We don’t have rest. We play nine or 10 or 11 games more than Liverpool and I love this challenge.”

Asked how he thinks Wednesday night’s Champions League quarter-final second-leg at home to Spurs will go, he added: “It will be quite similar, the reason why is about control.

“The way I saw the team against Brighton, the way the players came back from their injuries, the way they play, it is a massive team on the counter-attack. There are many reasons but we need to know our supporters will push us.”

Fernandinho has trained and Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling are both fit, so Oleksandr Zinchenko is the only player that could miss out through injury, with Guardiola hinting Aguero could start as City look to overturn a one-goal deficit.

“Sergio Aguero needs competition, and needs a little time to get to his best condition. Tomorrow is not about physical condition. We want to get to semi-final, that is the challenge,” added Guardiola.

Pep Guardiola

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