Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is refusing to rule out the prospect of catching Liverpool in the title race, but admits hopes of overhauling the league leaders are ‘unrealistic right now’.
The champions gave their hopes of catching Jurgen Klopp’s side a major boost with victory over second-placed Leicester this weekend, closing the gap on the Reds to 11 points ahead of the Boxing Day fixtures.
Already guaranteed to be top at Christmas, Liverpool return to Premier League action this weekend following their victorious Club World Club campaign this week, facing Leicester in a huge clash at the King Power Stadium between the divisions top two on Thursday night.
The Merseyside club have been in relentless form, dropping just two points all season, and whilst Guardiola has not given up on Man City‘s chances, he admits Liverpool remain huge favourites to secure the title.
“When a team has 16 victories from 17, it’s unrealistic to think we are going to chase them,” said Guardiola at his post-match press conference.
“It’s unrealistic right now. We have to try to win our games, secure Champions League [qualification] for next season and then you never know, no?
“If they [Liverpool] drop a couple of games, and we win and win … I don’t know. When one team lose one game in the last 53, 54, I’m not optimistic they are going to lose four or five in 10 or 11 games because they are incredibly strong.
“So we must relax and play like this and we’ll see in the end what happens.
“Hopefully Leicester can make a good performance against Liverpool but we’ve to think about our incredibly tough game against Wolves, with Adama [Traore] and [Raul] Jimenez.”