Pep Guardiola says he “doesn’t believe” Jurgen Klopp when he says he doesn’t think Liverpool can catch Manchester City in the title race.
Liverpool are nine points behind City with a game in hand and after victory over Leicester City on Thursday Klopp played down his chances of lifting the title this season, saying afterward that “I do not think that [City] smell our breath already.”
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Guardiola, though, thinks the German might be engaging in mind games.
“I don’t believe him,” Guardiola told a news conference on Friday.
“Absolutely [it’s possible] and he thinks the same, otherwise he wouldn’t be the competitor that he is.
“Of course he believes. In football, everything can happen. He knows that he has to win a lot of games like we know we have to win a lot of games to fight to be champion again.”
City and Liverpool have shared the last four Premier League titles and, ahead of another two-horse race, Guardiola believes the pair have pushed either each other to lift their level.
“The Premier League is the nicest title, because you have to fight an incredible amount of problems,” said Guardiola.
“The injury situations, bad runs, many things. It’s who is more consistent and these two teams are incredibly consistent. The run we’ve done over the last 14 games and we are just potentially six points ahead.
“It’s because the opponent is so good too.
“In normal circumstances an opponent would be 10 or 12 points (behind) with the amount of games we’ve won.”