Ahead of an upcoming neck and neck title rice between two newly fierce rivals, and after Manchester City beat Liverpool to the title last season, Jason McAteer has come out to stoke the fire.
Are Liverpool in Pep Guardiola's head?
The champions travel to Anfield this weekend in their most highly anticipated clash of the season so far, with a potential away win reducing the gap between the two sides to just three points.
Liverpool may go into the bout as favourites following their unbeaten start to the season, most recently nicking a last gap winner at Aston Villa, while in comparison City have already lost twice this campaign.
Speaking to LFC TV via Inside Futbol in the build-up, ex-Reds midfielder McAteer had his say regarding Pep Guardiola’s recent comments on Sadio Mane, hinting that his diving accusations show how annoyed the Spaniard is at Liverpool’s habit of scoring last minute goals.
“[It is] because Liverpool have got into his head, simple as that, Liverpool have got under his skin,” explained the pundit.
“When you are winning titles you have got momentum, everything sort of goes with you, you play well, you get last-minute winners, when you shouldn’t really and when you don’t play well you are still taking three points.
“And Guardiola knows that Liverpool are doing that. The mentality has changed. It was all about City last season and now it has changed, now they are chasing us.
“Liverpool fell short by a point, they gave it a right good go, but you have to give it to City, they are quality outfit who got it over the line, so you have got to hold your hands up and say that’s fantastic.
“But Liverpool have just not gone away.”
Indeed, whilst McAteer shares a good point of view that almost any opposing manager would be frustrated at Liverpool’s seemingly unstoppable momentum, he seems to have forgotten certain details about last season – where City managed to claw their way back from being seven points behind the Reds in December.
The Sky Blues were chasing them then, and they are chasing them now, but one thing that has changed is City’s squad weakened squad depth due to mounting injuries – which definitely puts Liverpool in a far more commanding position.
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