Guardiola braced for Liverpool title challenge

Pep Guardiola expects Liverpool to strongly challenge Manchester City when they attempt to defend their Premier League title next season.

City have coasted to the league championship this season, with Guardiola’s side boasting a 19-point advantage heading into the final game and a huge 25-point buffer from Champions League finalists Liverpool.

But after Liverpool knocked out City in the Champions League quarter-finals, Guardiola is braced for Jurgen Klopp’s improving side to be far closer rivals in the league next year.

“This season they were a big contender and they will be again next season,” said Guardiola.

“I will not say just Liverpool, but it’s true – Liverpool, [because of] the way they play and the quality of their players, not just up front.

“I think [Virgil] van Dijk has helped them a lot to be more consistent in the defensive department, especially in the box, and [there is] the quality up front and the quality in the way they play.

“Jurgen is a top manager, creating not just an offensive style and not just thinking about the spectators. He’s always positive, going there and creating good environments in the clubs.”