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Media Watch: ‘Don’t write City off’

SHOWDOWN: Anticipation is building ahead of City v Liverpool...

SHOWDOWN: Anticipation is building ahead of City v Liverpool...

As the clock ticks down to Thursday’s eagerly-awaited Premier League showdown, the anticipation intensifies…

It’s the hot topic on everyone’s lips and unsurprisingly dominates the headlines, as the footballing world cast their predictions ahead of the top-of-the-table crunch clash.

Bernardo Silva admits the pressure is on City, with the Champions trailing Liverpool by seven points, but asserts the Blues must focus solely on winning the game at hand.

As Goal (amongst others) report, the Portugal star conceded: “We know the pressure is a little bit more on us because if we don’t win, it will be very difficult to go after them.

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"That’s what we will try to do. It is what we try to do every game. We will try to win the three points, especially with our fans, and we’ll try to win that game.

"We have to think that we have to win every game possible to try to reach them, to close the gap a little bit and that’s what we’ll try to do in the next game.

"We know we are seven points behind and if we win it will be only four – seven or four is very different – but we’ll put some pressure into them.

“They’ve had a lot of clean sheets. An impressive defence. The front three, everyone knows how good they are.

"They work a lot. The midfielders they work a lot, they press a lot. We know them, they know us, this season they’ve been doing very well in the Premier League and the Champions League so it’s two very good teams, and we’ll try to win the game.”

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Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has attempted to add fuel to the fire, claiming no team travels to the Etihad Stadium expecting to win.

Quoted by the Mirror, he said: “We all know, wow, Man City are a fantastic football team and an away game at City, who can go there and think ‘probably we will win’?

“No team in the world, not even us.

“So, we have to go there and try everything to get a result. That’s what we will try.”

Reds left-back Andy Robertson has also warned of the Blues’ experience in clawing back points deficits to land silverware.

"They're a fantastic team, a very experienced team and they've been in this position before,” he declared – his comments shared by ITV.

"They've won the title. It's something that we've never had. They're probably more experienced than us in this position but we look forward to it."

Meanwhile, former City and Liverpool man Craig Bellamy believes the Blues will close the gap and ultimately lift the Premier League trophy come the end of the season.

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He told Sky Sports: “I don’t believe Liverpool will go unbeaten, they will lose one or two games, and I personally think Man City will win the league.

“I think Pep Guardiola would be rubbing his hands saying: ‘game on – last year, we won it so comfortably, now let’s see what we’ve got’.

“They have a manager who is a serial winner so they have a lot of factors that they can look back on.

“With seven points to make up, especially over the Christmas period, you can get that back. Don’t write Man City off yet.”

In other news, shot-stopper Aro Muric has been named in UEFA’s ’50 for the future’ compilation – a list of starlets to watch out for in 2019.

The young 'keeper has stepped in as back up for Ederson, due to Claudio Bravo's injury, and proved the hero in last month's Carabao Cup penalty shoot-out triumph over Leicester.

Finally, there’s also a snippet of transfer gossip as the Daily Express suggest Trabzonspor have stated their asking price for alleged City and Liverpool target Abdulkadir Omur.

Writes James Benson: “The 19-year-old is enjoying another fine campaign having made a breakthrough last season.

“And his performances at the Medical Park Arena have earned him an array of suitors.

“Liverpool are at the front of the queue to secure Omur’s services. While their title rivals Manchester City have also been in touch with Trabzonspor concerning a possible deal.

“Trabzonspor are said to informed the Premier League duo that Omur is available for £27m (€30m).

“However, they may face competition from Roma after the Serie A giants launched an enquiry too.”

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