LONDON: Pep Guardiola is disappointed with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp’s claim that Manchester City got more rest due to the COVID-19 spread at the club last December.
Premier League leaders City, who play less than one game, have a seven-point advantage over fourth-placed Liverpool, ahead of tomorrow’s meeting at Anfield.
Klopp blamed the level of mental and physical fitness as the cause of his team’s 1-0 defeat to Brighton last Wednesday, which extended the line without a home win to four games.
“We don’t have time to rest yet. I think City has a two-week break due to COVID-19.
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“It was a very difficult, difficult season for all the teams,” Klopp said.
City’s match against Everton on December 28 had to be postponed due to a positive case in Guardiola’s squad.
City did not play for a week from the win over Newcastle on 26 December until beating Chelsea 3-1 on 3 January, where they lost many key players at the time.
However, the resistance did not stop City from setting a new club record with 13 straight wins in all competitions.
“Jurgen needs to look back at the calendar. We experienced COVID-19, a week off, and played with 14 players at Stamford Bridge.
“When I meet Jurgen, maybe I will ask. I was shocked. I thought Jurgen was not such an operator,” Guardiola said.
Guardiola is aiming for his first win as manager at Anfield, and City’s first win at Liverpool since 2003.
Liverpool will return to the service of Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Sadio Mane, who did not play when they met Brighton.
Central defenders Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak are also expected to make their debut after joining Liverpool on the final day of the transfer window.