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Thursday 17 October 2019

Guardiola blasts Klopp claim that champs City have 'no weaknesses'

Pep Guardiola with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp
Pep Guardiola with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

Pep Guardiola last night dismissed Jurgen Klopp's claim that champions Manchester City have "no sign of weakness".

Liverpool manager Klopp also said that "only City can stop City" as he assessed the Premier League title race this week.

This was in spite of the Reds moving ahead of Guardiola's City at the top of the table.

But Guardiola said: "Any team has strong points and weak points. Of course we have weaknesses and we are working on it.

"Of course we have weaknesses, but that's normal. These kind of comments have to be put in the perspective they must be."

City continue their campaign as they host Crystal Palace today. Last season the Eagles ended City's record 18-match winning run with a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park.

Guardiola said: "The quality of the players they have - Andros Townsend, especially Wilfried Zaha, Max Meyer, James McArthur and Luka Milivojevic - all the players have quality, and they have an incredibly experienced manager in Roy Hodgson.

"I saw the game against Chelsea. It is so difficult to attack them. Maybe people expect better results than they have had so far. It is complicated. That will be so tomorrow if we are not completely focused."

City will again be without playmaker David Silva.

The Spaniard has returned to light training after three games out with a hamstring injury but, with a crunch game against Liverpool coming up on January 3, he will not yet be risked.

Guardiola said: "He has started to train, had the first steps, but he is still not ready for tomorrow."

The week has seen some upheaval in Manchester with manager Jose Mourinho leaving rivals United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer taking over as caretaker manager at Old Trafford.

Guardiola, who was just 37 when he was appointed Barcelona boss, can see some similarities with his own situation in the way United have turned to one of their former players.

Young

Guardiola said: "Of course when a young manager like Solskjaer has this chance it's because the club decides he can do it.

"What happened in my case was quite similar. I was young and had the opportunity. I tried to do my best.

"Of course they are different jobs. You cannot compare being a football player to being a manager. I wish him all the best."

Solskjaer, 45, who has been brought in from Norwegian club Molde on a short-term deal, spent 11 trophy-laden years as a player at United.

Guardiola said: "When you know the club, that is an advantage, for sure, knowing the people and how it works there. That is important.

"It is something positive, the fact you were there in the past and know many things of the club."

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