Guardiola: We need everybody

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hopes he does not lose any of his players to injury during this month's international break.

City, who have already won the EFL Cup this term, are currently second in the Premier League table, while they have reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup and last eight of the Champions League.

Guardiola's team are scheduled to play eight fixtures in 29 days after the international break and the City boss wants all of his squad members to play their part in the last two months of the campaign.

"I pray that they come back fit," he said. "They have to go to their national teams… enjoy and play for their country, but I hope they can come back fit like they are now.

"I just want them fit and here… With the fixtures we have in April we need everybody, it's crazy."

Meanwhile, Guardiola said of his injured stars: "Everybody is going to play and Kevin (De Bruyne), Fernandinho, John (Stones), Benjamin (Mendy) – they are all going to be back soon and we need them. Even if some play 10 or 15 minutes here and there.

"We need everybody because we have got to this stage where we are still in with a chance of winning three more trophies because of everybody. Not just 11 players, but everyone."

City's next game is at Fulham on 30th March and they can be backed at 8/1 to win 2-0 at Craven Cottage. They are 10/1 to win the quadruple of Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League and EFL Cup this season.

Winning is a must Klopp warns

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp says his side have no option other than to keep on winning if they are to edge out Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title.

The Reds moved two points clear at the top of the table with a hard-fought 2-1 at Fulham on Sunday, with James Milner converting a late penalty to secure a crucial three-point return.

Afterwards, Klopp admitted that his team had not been at their fluent best, but he was keen to stress the importance of continuing to put wins on the board – with the Merseysiders having claimed three victories in the last week in all competitions.

The German told reporters: "I think we fully deserved to win the game. It was an average game, massive result. We want to stay in the title race and that's what we did.

"First is the best position you can be in. City don't look as if they drop a lot of points, so we have to win, to win and to win.

"I am not in any doubt about my players' nerves. It is about intensity. We go for perfection, but it is rare that you get it.

"People will say we need to be more convincing, but we are at the start of a development, not the end."

Next up for Liverpool is another tough fixture, with Tottenham Hotspur the visitors to Anfield on the final day of March.

The Reds are 8/13 to win that game, with the draw priced at 14/5, while Klopp's men are 2/1 to be crowned Premier League champions this season.

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Liverpool back on top

Liverpool regained top spot in the Premier League though they found it far from straightforward at Craven Cottage.

Liverpool won 2-1 at relegation threatened Fulham, being pegged back at 1-1 only for James Milner to convert a late penalty.

Liverpool took the lead on 25 minutes Sadio Mane finding Roberto Firmino who found Mane and he tucked the ball home for his ninth goal in as many games.

Andy Robertson had a chance to extend the visitors lead but half-time came with Liverpool having suffered few alarms.

The Cottagers almost got back into the game midway through the second half, Aleksandar Mitrovic's header being disallowed for offside.

However they were level on 74 minutes courtesy of a defensive mix-up between Liverpool keeper Alisson and Virgil van Dijk, James Milner's attempted clearance putting the two in difficulties, the defender nodding towards his keeper but in the confusion between the pair Ryan Babel was able to take advantage and slot the ball home.

Just as the match entered its last 10 minutes Liverpool were awarded a penalty after Mohamed Salah's shot rebounded to Mane but he was fouled as he tried to get in a shot and the referee pointed to the spot.

Milner was tasked with the responsibility and made no mistake, sending his penalty hard down the middle and giving Liverpool a priceless lead.

They rarely looked like letting Fulham back into the game a second time but there was relief at the final whistle nonetheless.

Milner admitted his part in Fulham's equaliser when speaking to Sky Sports afterwards.

He said: "The gaffer told me to come on and calm it down and the first thing I do is slice it and put Virgil under pressure which wasn't ideal.

"The goal was important to put away. You have to go back to what you practise, be calm and do what you do."

Liverpool, having played a game more, are now two points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.

They can enjoy the view from the top for a couple of weeks during the international break and are back in action on 31st March when they play host to Tottenham.

The Reds are 4/7 for the win with Spurs 19/4 and the draw 3/1. Liverpool are 8/1 to win the game 1-0.

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Klopp keeping Cottagers focus

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp has told his team to focus fully on winning at Fulham on Sunday to ensure that they return to the top of the Premier League table.

With Manchester City in FA Cup action this weekend, the Reds can move two points ahead of the reigning champions, although Klopp is eager to play down the importance of the chance to overtake the Citizens.

He told reporters: "This is a very important game for us. We don't think about any other situations apart from ours and we just have to take our opportunity.

"We've been over it and we have to make sure we are spot on from the opening second to win the game.

"When City have a game in hand it's not that important. We just want to win our game.

"City's game in hand is against (Manchester) United and that's not easy, but we need to think about winning our games only."

Midfielder Jordan Henderson definitely misses the game at Craven Cottage on Sunday due to an ankle problem, while Naby Keita is also an absentee.

Liverpool have won all of their last five meetings with Fulham, scoring 16 goals in the process, with the clash between the two teams at Anfield earlier this season ending in a 2-0 home victory – with Mohamed Salah and Xherdan Shaqiri the goalscorers.

The Merseysiders can be backed at 1/4 to secure all three points at Craven Cottage on Sunday and are 13/2 to complete another 2-0 win.

Sadio Mane, who has scored twice in three of his last four appearances, is 11/10 to find the net at any time in the game.

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Lallana praised in Reds win

Liverpool maintained their Premier League title bid by beating Burnley 4-2 at Anfield, moving to within a point of leaders Manchester City.

City beat Watford on Saturday to open up a four-point gap and put the pressure back on Jurgen Klopp's side.

That pressure seemed to increase when Liverpool went a goal down to Burnley early on, Ashley Westwood scoring direct from a corner.

However the home side were soon level, Roberto Firmino scoring from close range though keeper Tom Heaton should have done better.

Sadio Mane gave Liverpool a half-time lead and they extended their lead to 3-1 when Heaton's poor clearance let in Firmino.

Burnley threatened a nervy last few minutes when Johann Berg Gudmundsson scored in the first minute of stoppage time at the end of the game but Mane ensured the points went the way of the home side, rounding the keeper and slotting the ball home for his second and Liverpool's fourth.

Lallana was making just his fifth start of the season but he played well, playing a part in his side's second goal and he was singled out for special praise by Klopp afterwards.

The Liverpool manager also referred to the weather in his post-match comments, the players affected by strong winds and hailstorms at Anfield.

Klopp told the BBC: "We played our game. The first Burnley goal was maybe a little bit of the wind. In most countries it would not be allowed that goal. You cannot treat the goalie like that in the six-yard box.

"Adam Lallana didn't score but he was best man on pitch. He had an outstanding game.

"At 3-1 up all the balls Burnley got were from us. I'm completely happy with the performance – especially against Burnley. Nobody gets rid of us."

Having kept themselves firmly in the title race Klopp's team will attempt to stay in Europe in midweek when they take on Bayern Munich in the second-leg of their round of 16 Champions League tie, the teams having drawn 0-0 at Anfield.

Liverpool are 23/10 to win the tie on Wednesday night with the German champions 21/20.

Liverpool are 9/1 to win the Champions League this year with Bayern 10/1 and Manchester City 9/4.

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Setback for Oxlade-Chamberlain

Liverpool have played down the injury setback Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered in an Under-23 game on Friday.

The 25-year-old former Arsenal star has been sidelined for almost a year since suffering a cruciate ligament injury in his right knee in the Champions League semi-final tie against Roma.

He pulled up with a muscle problem in the 40th minute of Friday's match against Derby County's Under-23 side.

However, the Reds insist Oxlade-Chamberlain was only withdrawn as a precaution and say the new problem is not serious.

"He obviously had a bit of an issue but hopefully it's nothing major," said Liverpool's Under-23 coach Neil Critchley.

"The bonus for him is that it's not his knee, so he's delighted there are no problems with that.

"Hopefully it's not as bad as it first looked. He was looking over (to the bench) and we weren't sure. It's maybe some kind of muscle problem and maybe one to assess on Saturday."

Meanwhile, Liverpool are 1/6 to defeat Burnley in their next Premier League match on Sunday and 6/1 to do so by a 2-0 scoreline, with the Merseysiders 9/4 to be crowned Premier League champions this season.

In December at Turf Moor, Liverpool were forced to come from behind before eventually beating the Clarets 3-1.

City without injured quartet

Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Aymeric Laporte and John Stones will all miss Manchester City's home game against Watford.

City returned to the top of the table after winning 1-0 at Bournemouth last weekend while Liverpool could only draw 0-0 at Everton.

Guardiola's team have won eight matches in a row in all competitions despite their injury problems and are 4/11 to win the Premier League title this season and 3/1 to beat Watford by a two-goal margin on Saturday.

"All of them, they are getting better," Guardiola said when asked about the injured quartet. "Aymeric is back, he trained the last two or three days, but I don't know about tomorrow.

"Fernandinho is out. Kevin, right now, is not fit, John Stones is not fit either – but the other ones are okay."

Meanwhile, Guardiola says he has been impressed with the Hornets, who are currently eighth in the table, this season.

He added: "It's incredible what he [Javi Gracia] has done. It's one of our toughest of the nine games left. Quality one against one.

"The manager is incredible with what he has done, they achieve a lot of points. But it's the last game before 21 days without the Premier League and the international break.

"It's a few games before the end of the Premier League and it's massive for us to take our points."

Klopp fully focused on Clarets

Jurgen Klopp is expecting a tough test for his Premier League title-chasing Liverpool outfit when Burnley are the visitors to Anfield at lunchtime on Sunday.

The Reds could be four points adrift of Manchester City by the time they take to the field against the Clarets, but head coach Klopp insists that the focus will not change for his players and himself.

The German believes that that has to be the case, with Burnley having gone unbeaten in eight league games prior to losses to Newcastle United and Crystal Palace in the last ten days.

He told reporters: "We will know the City result before we start our game, but we won't make a big fuss about it because we are just fighting for the top spot in the league and it's important to be optimistic and excited.

"Our only problem this week is Burnley and that's enough – we have to be really good to beat this team. We have prepared for the fact it will be tough.

"They don't have the majority of possession in games, so we need to be creative and patient. It will be difficult.

"When you watch their last three or four games you give respect – they beat Tottenham. I'm sure they are looking forward to this game."

Liverpool are 1/6 to defeat Burnley and are 6/1 to do so by a 2-0 scoreline, with the Merseysiders 9/4 to be crowned Premier League champions this season.

The meeting of the two sides at Turf Moor earlier on in the campaign ended in a 3-1 win for the Reds.

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Klopp focused fully on Clarets

Jurgen Klopp is expecting a tough test for his Premier League title-chasing Liverpool outfit when Burnley are the visitors to Anfield at lunchtime on Sunday.

The Reds could be four points adrift of Manchester City by the time they take to the field against the Clarets, but head coach Klopp insists that the focus will not change for his players and himself.

The German believes that that has to be the case, with Burnley having gone unbeaten in eight league games prior to losses to Newcastle United and Crystal Palace in the last ten days.

He told reporters: "We will know the City result before we start our game, but we won't make a big fuss about it because we are just fighting for the top spot in the league and it's important to be optimistic and excited.

"Our only problem this week is Burnley and that's enough – we have to be really good to beat this team. We have prepared for the fact it will be tough.

"They don't have the majority of possession in games, so we need to be creative and patient. It will be difficult.

"When you watch their last three or four games you give respect – they beat Tottenham. I'm sure they are looking forward to this game."

Liverpool are 1/6 to defeat Burnley and are 6/1 to do so by a 2-0 scoreline, with the Merseysiders 9/4 to be crowned Premier League champions this season.

The meeting of the two sides at Turf Moor earlier on in the campaign ended in a 3-1 win for the Reds.

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Klopp content to be chasing

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has suggested that it may be preferable for his team to chase Manchester City rather than be the Premier League leaders in March.

The Reds were held to a goalless draw by Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday and are now one point behind Pep Guardiola's team with nine games of the Premier League campaign left.

Liverpool had been seven points clear of City just over two months ago but the Merseyside derby stalemate was their fourth draw in the last six Premier League games.

The result leaves Klopp's team at 11/5 to win the title this season while Manchester City are available at 4/11. Meanwhile, Liverpool are 1/7 to beat Burnley at Anfield in their next match on Sunday.

"I am completely fine with chasing. Who wants to be top of the table at the beginning of March? It is nice but there are lots of games to play," said Klopp.

"I believe 100 per cent in our chance [of winning the title for the first time since 1990]. Game by game by game, my feeling gets better about the boys because they look really ready for it.

"We didn't score, that happens. It was a difficult game. It was just a fight and we were ready for that fight. Now we have a point more than before. All good."