Pep Guardiola: Manchester City boss says his side have no reason to be nervous ahead of final day of Premier League | football news

Pep Guardiola has announced that in this Sunday’s Premier League title decider with Aston Villa, Manchester City players have no reason to be nervous or worried – provided they stick to the fixture schedule and stay focused on the game.

City know beating Villa will secure the title ahead of Liverpool as their rivals also host Wolves in the final round of the season.

Any slip-up will allow Liverpool to snatch the title from City’s noses but Guardiola has told his side to “enjoy and suffer for the moment” as they attempt to clinch the Premier League title.

“I told our players it’s just a football game,” Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference. “Don’t think about how happy or sad we would be, just focus on what we need to do to beat Aston Villa. Having one title more or one less is important, but it’s just a football game.

pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp (left)

“Focus on whether they will play [Ollie] Watkins or [Danny] Ings or just Watkins. Douglas Luiz as a holding midfielder as a three or four [midfielders]? Is John McGinn moving indoors or outdoors? will they play [Phillipe] Coutinho and [Emiliano] Bundia together? We have to do that to win the game.

“I have a feeling we’re going to do things incredibly well. We haven’t been here many times in our history, but we must be scared or nervous? Under no circumstance. Just try to enjoy the moment and suffer.”

Guardiola admitted City players could feel the nerves of having the Premier League title a game away – and announced his side will not be making any special arrangements ahead of Sunday’s final.

Sunday, May 22, 2:30 p.m

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“It’s difficult to control your emotions,” he added. “They are human and there is fear of what will happen if they do it [Villa] Score. You may have to live with something uncomfortable, but we must respond as best we can.

“In football, it’s not over until it’s over. Don’t give up and do what you have been doing for the past month and do it. What we are planning is just a football game, nothing else.

“We’re not going to do anything new, everyone will be at home with their families before the game. We’re setting up the game to win against Aston Villa and we’re going to try to beat Aston Villa. That’s all.” We can make theories, but it’s just a football game with 11 players and a good coach who will try to beat us.”

What are the final day title race permutations?

Manchester City (90 points) have already won three Premier League titles – in 2012, 2014 and 2019 – on the final day of the season and could do so again this Sunday. Pep Guardiola’s men lead Liverpool through a single point.

So that means:

  • Manchester City will win the Premier League if they beat Aston Villa on Sunday – or match Liverpool’s result at home against Wolves.
  • Should City draw against Villa, Liverpool are crowned champions if they defeat the wolves.
  • Given their lower goal difference, a draw would only be enough for Liverpool to take the league title on Sunday if Manchester City loses to Aston Villa by seven goals.

An unlikely play-off for the Premier League title is still possible if both Man City and Liverpool finish on equal points, goal difference, goals scored and goals conceded – with their head-to-head tally already tied .

For this play-off to take place, Manchester City would need to lose 6-0 at home to Villa, while Liverpool and Wolves draw 5-5 at Anfield.

Sky Bet odds on winning the Premier League…

Man City: 1/8 with Sky Bet

Liverpool: 5/1 with Sky Bet

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