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‘Man City always do things the hard way’ – Richards backing Blues to edge out Liverpool again

15:29 GMT 04/11/2019
Pep Guardiola, Premier League trophy
A former academy graduate of the defending Premier League champions says “best in the world” Pep Guardiola will deliver more title glory in 2019-20

Manchester City “always do things the hard way”, says Micah Richards, with the former Blues star backing “best in the world” Pep Guardiola to pip Liverpool to another Premier League title.

A domestic treble was secured by those at the Etihad Stadium last season, with a stunning finish to the campaign allowing three pieces of major silverware to be collected.

City have landed the Community Shield again in 2019-20, but find themselves six points off the pace in another battle for the English top-flight crown.

Richards sees no cause for alarm after just 11 games, with the Blues having shown in the past that they can be at their most dangerous when seemingly backed into a corner.

He told bwin of another thrilling fight for supremacy, which is set to see City head to Liverpool for a crunch clash on Sunday: “I think City will win the Premier League this season.

“They’ve made it hard for themselves with the current situation at centre back, but City always do things the hard way.

“I would never back against City because the quality that they’ve got in the squad can turn a game on its head and the manager knows how to get the best out of every player.

“[Kevin] De Bruyne was a huge miss last season, but now he’s fully fit he’ll be like a new player and is pivotal in the way City like to play.

“I have to give respect to Liverpool because they are playing really well but if they pick up an injury to one of their key men, then the team loses some balance.

“If [Mohamed] Salah, [Sadio] Mane or [Roberto] Firmino gets injured, it would massively impact the way they play and make it difficult for them to maintain that level.”

While boasting the on-field quality to chase down Liverpool, Richards believes City also have the best in the business calling the shots off it.

He added on former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola: “He is the best manager in world football right now.

“His ability to get the best out of his players is a rare quality that separates him from most other managers. In football, talent can only take you so far.

“As well as hard work, a player needs a good manager who can guide them and get the best out of them.

“His work is done behind the scenes, but he trusts the quality of his players to do it for him on the pitch and is ready to step in when necessary.

“He has a philosophy that he will stick with and he doesn’t rest on his laurels, even if City are winning by four or five goals, he wants more from his players – it’s a great combination.”

City battled their way to a 2-1 win over Southampton in their most recent outing and have Champions League and Premier League clashes against Atalanta and Liverpool to come this week before heading into the next international break.