Man City, Liverpool keep things simple as battle at top intensifies

man city liverpool keep things simple as battle at top intensifies

Manchester City and Liverpool, the last two unbeaten sides in the entire English league system, will look to keep pace with each other again this week as the Premier League adds a midweek programme.

Leaders City, two points ahead at the top, travel to Watford while Liverpool are away to second-bottom Burnley.

While others have looked for the superlatives to describe City and Liverpool this season, the top two continue to go about their business, simply taking it, as the cliche goes, one game at a time.

It is a philosophy that has served them well and even though Watford have lost three of their past four games, City manager Pep Guardiola is interested only in his own team.

"Our success in the last 15 months has come because we don't care too much about what our opponents do," Guardiola told reporters on Saturday.

"To become a good club, you have to win titles again and again. We have a lot of points in the league and we qualified in the Champions League with one game left."

Guardiola will wait on the fitness of striker Sergio Aguero, who missed the weekend win over Bournemouth with a muscular injury.

"There are a lot of games and we don’t want to take risks of injuries," Guardiola said. "One month or a month-and-a-half loss with nine or 10 games is too much.

"I don't know if Aguero will be fit. We will see."

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp will have to bring his squad back down to solid ground after their last-minute win over Everton in the Merseyside derby on Sunday.

Like Guardiola, Klopp is likely to make some changes, with captain Jordan Henderson available after suspension and midfielders Naby Keita and James Milner having started the Everton game on the bench.

"We will see how we line up in the next (game)," said Klopp, who may also rest Sadio Mane after the forward cut his foot on Sunday.

"We only have to think about Burnley, not Bournemouth or Naples or (Manchester) United or Wolves (in the four games following Burnley).

Burnley manager Sean Dyche saw his side drop into the bottom three at the weekend but believes a good result is just around the corner.

"Sometimes there's a bottoming out period and I am hoping we've got to that stage," Dyche said.

"It's hard to explain because there's no measurement, but subliminally everyone says: 'we've got more than that' and we've got way more than that, I am sure of it."

Third-placed Chelsea, five points behind Liverpool, welcome Wolves to Stamford Bridge while Arsenal will take the confidence of a win over Tottenham in the north London derby on Sunday into their trip to a Manchester United side struggling for confidence.

"It is a very big victory," Arsenal manager Unai Emery said on Sunday.

"But above all it is three points, like against Bournemouth last weekend. We need to continue our process, creating our way. I want to do more."

Tottenham, meanwhile, have to pick themselves up quickly when they host third-bottom Southampton, who will be coached by Kelvin Davis after the departure of manager Mark Hughes, on Wednesday.

Toby Alderweireld could come back into the defence as manager Mauricio Pochettino juggles his options.

"It's crazy the fixtures we have until January and it's very important to manage all the players in the best way and trying to avoid risk."

Everton host Newcastle, while bottom side Fulham travel to Leicester and Bournemouth take on Huddersfield.

Brighton & Hove Albion meet Crystal Palace and West Ham face Cardiff in the other matches.

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