Pep Guardiola claims his Manchester City players PREFER facing the hostile Anfield crowd despite ending their 18-year hoodoo away at Liverpool behind closed doors last season
- A full Anfield will host Liverpool’s league clash with Manchester City on Sunday
- One point separates Pep Guardiola’s side from the Reds who currently sit top
- The Citizens thumped Liverpool 4-1 on their last visit to Anfield in February
- Before the win, City picked up just one point from Guardiola’s four league visits
Pep Guardiola insisted that Manchester City will embrace a full Anfield after breaking their 18-year-old hoodoo at Liverpool inside an empty stadium.
City had picked up just one point from Guardiola’s four Premier League visits before thumping Jurgen Klopp’s side 4-1 last February – the club’s first victory there since May 2003.
The City manager believes his players can use a capacity crowd to help an occasion that pits two of the title favourites against each other.
Manchester City were victorious over Liverpool at Anfield las season, thumping them 4-1
Anfield lacked its infamous atmosphere the last time the sides met but will be full on Sunday
‘I’m very pleased Anfield is full again and we can go there to play a game,’ Guardiola said. ‘It’s nice that the people are back and we can enjoy a fantastic atmosphere there.
‘Hopefully we can handle it in a good way. I’m pretty sure the players would prefer to play with fans at Anfield than without. Everything is more alive, it’s more difficult. I don’t know the reasons why we didn’t win at Anfield over the 18 years.
City had scraped just one point in Guardiola’s four league visits before the win last season
‘Over my five years, it was because they are an exceptional team. The crowd helps of course, like in Paris it did. They were supporting even when we were dominating parts of the game. That happens. Even in Germany when we went to Dortmund – or Barcelona in Madrid – the crowd pushes a lot.’
When initially asked about the lack of supporters potentially playing a part in last season’s win, Guardiola laughed: ‘You have destroyed my happiness because you don’t credit what we did last season. I will never forgive you!’
City sent a statement last weekend with a dominant win at Stamford Bridge, when Chelsea failed to register a shot on target, before losing in Paris on Tuesday night despite controlling the game. Guardiola revealed he has never been happier with his squad after the last two performances.
Guardiola has never been happier with his team as he prepares to face Jurgen Klopp (left)
‘The way we played the last two games, I’m so satisfied with what we’ve done,’ he added. ‘In this type of period when Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden only training for two weeks, after how we overcome some situations, the level of consistency and the way we play is so good.
‘That’s why it makes me happier than ever. What we’ve done in the past will remain in our hearts but trying to do it again and again, knowing the team where it’s come from, like we have done last season, it almost impossible to do it better.
‘But still we have many details, after six years together we are still there. That’s why I’m so proud. I cannot find words to express gratitude and compliment the way we’ve played these two games.’
Guardiola is satisfied with Kevin De Bruyne who has been in training for just two weeks
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