Pep Guardiola has said that he doesn’t believe Jurgen Klopp after his claims that Liverpool are not thinking about a challenge for the Premier League title.
Manchester City are nine points clear at the top of the table but Liverpool can cut that deficit to six if they beat Leeds in their game in hand on February 23.
The Reds have a further opportunity to close the gap when they visit the Etihad Stadium in April. Guardiola has warned his side that they will need to be close to perfect if they are to win the league.
Many pundits had written off a title race when both Liverpool and Chelsea dropped points over Christmas while City went on a 12-game winning streak.
Liverpool have won their last three matches despite Mo Salah and Sadio Mane being at the Africa Cup of Nations, but Klopp is refusing to get carried away.
“I am not sure we are in a position to get them on their toes,” he said after Thursday’s win over Leicester. “We have no chance to catch them but that does not mean we shall not try to play the best possible season for us.”
Asked about Klopp’s comments ahead of Saturday’s trip to Norwich, the City boss said: “I don’t believe him!”
Questioned whether he would give up if it was the other way around, Guardiola added: “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.”
Liverpool can reach 96 points if they win all of their remaining matches and Guardiola expects his team to need to reach that tally to secure the title.
With 15 matches remaining, the City boss insists it’s not impossible that the Reds can win every game between now and the end of the season.
“Both teams have shown over the years that they can make an incredible run of victories in a row,” Guardiola added. “If one team is able, they can.
“Both have the same managers, more or less the same squads and ideas. Both could make 16, 17 wins in a row. They can do it – we can do it too.”