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Guardiola unconcerned by prospective heavy schedule for Manchester City in title race

09:32 GMT 20/01/2019
PepGuardiola - cropped
The Reds look set for a kinder run-in than the Sky Blues due to cup commitments, but their manager still intends to challenge on all fronts

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says that he is unconcerned by rivals Liverpool’s lighter schedule ahead of the Premier League title run-in.

While the Sky Blues continue to challenge on four fronts, Jurgen Klopp's men are only still in action in the league and the Champions League following early exits in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

Liverpool could therefore play considerably fewer matches as they look to protect their lead at the top of the table, but Guardiola believes the champions can still benefit from a busy calendar.

The City boss further stated that he certainly does not intend to give up the chase in the FA Cup in order to boost their chances of retaining their league crown too.

“If you play every three days, everyone is in rhythm, everyone is focused,” Guardiola told his pre-match press conference ahead of his side’s trip to Huddersfield Town on Sunday.

“Sometimes when you have one week, 10 days off, the rhythm sometimes is wrong. So really I don't know. If you win games and go to the quarter-finals, semi-finals of a competition, it is a huge excitement and everyone will be involved.

“When I go out, it's because the other [team] was better. We are not going to drop any competition. When Wigan last minute go 1-0 [in the FA Cup last season], 'congratulations, Wigan'.

“We were out of the cup and go to Abu Dhabi for five days, but we are not going to organise our schedule to go to Abu Dhabi.”

Guardiola is similarly uninterested in the prospect of relying on rivals Manchester United to do City a favour and beat the Reds at Old Trafford next month.

“We have to go to Old Trafford, too, and what you have to do is try to win there,” he said. “If United beat Liverpool, perfect. But if United beat us, the situation is the same.

“What can we do for United against Liverpool? Nothing. I don't have the telephone number for [United boss Ole Gunnar] Solskjaer, maybe I'm going to ask him but I don't have it right now. What we can do is beat United when we go there.

“But, before United, how many games do we have? We have recent experience of what happened against Leicester and Crystal Palace so it's a big mistake to think about that when you want to compete in all the competitions and focus on what we have to do.

“Before United v Liverpool, you can ask me again the question and I'll tell you more clearly what the situation is [at that time], but there are many games for both sides before those games.”