Guardiola in fresh Klopp dig over Liverpool exploiting ‘worst’ tactic in sport

Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has called on Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp not to use “excuses” – the “worst” thing in sport – for his side’s poor form.

Following three seasons of unprecedented consistency from both sides, Sunday’s clash arrives with the teams in contrasting form.

Indeed, City have won 13 games in a row, including nine successive Premier League matches. What’s more, they have only conceded three goals in that time.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have lost two home league games in a row after previously going 68 unbeaten at Anfield.

Ahead of this weekend’s meeting, Guardiola turned up the heat on Friday by slamming Klopp for his claim that City had a break amid their postponed fixture with Everton.

But he also warned Liverpool about using excuses for their faltering title defence. Klopp has proven an outspoken character this season amid his injury crisis, as well as his tirade against fixture scheduling.

“I say to my players when you complain and look for excuses you cannot move forward,” City boss Guardiola told reporters (via the Daily Mail).

“Excuses is the worst thing in the world and in sport. Sometimes it is difficult for managers to finish games and five minutes later, give opinions about decisions into the microphone.

Liverpool v Man City Match Preview, February 07, 2021

Liverpool v Man City Match Preview, February 07, 2021

A look ahead to the Premier League game between Liverpool and Man City, including stats on form, possession, shots, cards, corners, top scorers and previous meetings.

“But when you are relaxed in a press conference before a game, to say something to propose [provoke], I never did it or did it maybe once or twice for an exceptional reason, but not to propose [provoke].

“I am only concerned about the game, what we have to do to beat the opponents.”

City had only 14 fit senior players at the start of the year after an outbreak in their camp.

Liverpool, meanwhile, could have Alisson Becker and Sadio Mane back from illness and injury for Sunday’s match.

Liverpool to take action over quartet

Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah Liverpool

Meanwhile, Liverpool will reportedly prevent four of their players from undertaking international duty next month.

FIFA has granted clubs the power to stop players from travelling if it means they will have to isolate upon their return to the UK.

As such, four of the Reds’ key stars will likely be spending the international break on Merseyside.

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