Pep: Everyone supports Liverpool

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Manchester City will be without Ruben Dias, John Stones and Kyle Walker for the final three games of the Premier League season; City are three points clear of Liverpool after beating Newcastle 5-0 on Sunday; Guardiola: “Everyone in this country supports Liverpool”

Pep Guardiola claimed “everyone in this country supports Liverpool” after his Manchester City side beat Newcastle 5-0 on Sunday to go three points clear at the top of the Premier League.

The convincing victory at the Etihad Stadium followed Liverpool dropping points in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham.

Guardiola also confirmed neither Kyle Walker, Jones Stones nor Ruben Dias – who was forced off at half-time with a muscular problem – would be fit for their last three games of the season. With Nathan Ake struggling with an ankle problem, the Man City boss said he is down to “three defenders for three games”.

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The Spaniard also claimed his side are not the popular choice when it comes to deciding who will win the title.

“Everyone in this country supports Liverpool, the media and everyone,” Guardiola told beIN Sports, gunning for their fourth Premier League success in five years.

Of course because Liverpool has an incredible history in European competition. Not in the Premier League, because they have won one in 30 years, but it is not a problem at all.

“The situation is what it is. We have to get nine points maybe six, it depends on the next two games in terms of goal difference.

Now Wednesday is the real final for us, our destiny is in our hands and this is important, that’s the reality.”

City travel to Wolves on Wednesday before facing a trip to West Ham on Sunday with both fixtures live on Sky Sports. Liverpool can close the gap on Tuesday as they go to Aston Villa in front of the Sky Sports cameras ahead of playing Chelsea in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

Liverpool are alongside [Manchester] United as the most important team in terms of titles, legacy, history, dramas for many, many things,” added Guardiola.

“But we have since the last 11 or 12 years been there. I know sometimes we are uncomfortable, but I don’t care if the people want Liverpool to win more than us. It is not an issue.”

Guardiola will be without defender Walker after he was forced off in the second half of Wednesday’s Champions League loss at Real Madrid with fresh ankle problems while centre-back Stones has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Guardiola said: “Ruben, Kyle and John are out until the end of the season.”

.Fernandinho, who is leaving City at the end of the season, replaced Dias in the victory over Newcastle and asked how crucial the 37-year-old now becomes, Guardiola said: “A lot, otherwise, it’s CJ (Ega-Riley) or (Luke) Mbete.

“In this situation it’s not a problem, Rodri can play there. We have the academy. Everyone has to do extra. Thirteen players and a half for these games and everyone has to do more and more to help our absence. We arrive with problems and that’s all. Fernandinho did good and we are going to do it.”

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