Wednesday 26 June 2019

Liverpool will push Manchester City to end of season – Kevin De Bruyne

The City playmaker has no reason to doubt the Reds will maintain their challenge.

Kevin De Bruyne (left) has no reason to doubt Liverpool will maintain their challenge (Martin Rickett/PA)
Kevin De Bruyne (left) has no reason to doubt Liverpool will maintain their challenge (Martin Rickett/PA)

By Andy Hampson, Press Association Sport

Kevin De Bruyne expects Manchester City to by pushed for the Premier League title to the end by Liverpool.

The City playmaker, who is now fit again after six weeks out with a knee injury, has no reason to doubt the Reds will maintain their challenge.

Champions City finished 19 points clear of their nearest rivals last season but De Bruyne cannot envisage a repeat of that.

“I don’t know why they can’t sustain it – I think they will go on to the end,” he said.

“I’m not too worried about them (because) they will do what they do and we’ll have to try to win our games and go forward. They’ll try to keep pace with us and vice versa.

“But it’s still early. There’s no pressure. We need to do what we do.”

The two sides, who drew 0-0 in October, are due to meet for a second time this season at the Etihad Stadium in January.

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Kevin De Bruyne (right) has no reason to doubt Liverpool will maintain their challenge (Martin Rickett/PA)

That may allow one side to land a blow but it will not be decisive and there are many other factors that could see the lead keep changing hands again over the remainder of the season.

De Bruyne said: “You know how it goes. You can have a week where you lose three games and everyone speaks differently.

“There is still so long to go. The amount of games can trip you up, injuries can trip you up.”

City suffered their first serious setback of their title defence last week as they were beaten at Chelsea.

They responded by beating Everton 3-1 at home on Saturday with two goals from Gabriel Jesus and another from Raheem Sterling.

Jesus’ goals were his first in the Premier League since August and were a good response after recent criticism over his performances.

The Brazilian looked a more confident player than he did earlier in the season and the 21-year-old put that down to the support of his family. His mother has joined him in Manchester while other family members have also been visiting.

Manager Pep Guardiola said: “To have his family here is so important and I think it’s going to help him.

“We can’t forget that football players are human beings and there are many players who have the talent but are in bad, bad form because of personal issues – maybe getting divorced, things not going well at home, problems with their mum, dad, whatever.

“That can influence things a lot on the pitch, more than people can imagine or expect and sometimes we don’t know it.

“That’s why Gabriel has that feeling that, with his family here, he will be calmer, better. It’s good to have your family there. I could not live without my family.”

Guardiola was also pleased to see the 21-year-old giving his post-match interviews in English.

He said: “It’s the first time I listened to him in the media speaking English. That’s cool.

“I insist on them having to learn English because sometimes I have the feeling he maybe doesn’t understand me when I speak in English.

“It’s important to have that feeling that he’s speaking English much better.”

Press Association

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