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Pep Guardiola 'Not Optimistic' Manchester City Can Beat Liverpool to EPL Title

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIDecember 22, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on prior to the Premier League match between Manchester City and Leicester City at Etihad Stadium on December 21, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said he is "not optimistic" his team can pip Liverpool to the Premier League title this season.

Guardiola's team have been beaten four times already in the top flight, and the Spaniard feels they may have given themselves too much to do to retain their title, per Rob Dawson at ESPN FC.

"It's unrealistic right now. We have to try to win our games, secure Champions League for next season and then you never know, no? If they drop a couple of games, and we win and win -- I don't know. When one team lose one game in the last 53 or 54, I'm not optimistic that they are going to lose four or five in 10 or 11 games because they are incredibly strong."

Liverpool are 11 points ahead of the defending champions with a game in hand and are yet to taste defeat in the top flight in 17 Premier League games in 2019-20.

The Reds also added another trophy to their collection on Saturday, beating Flamengo to lift the FIFA Club World Cup for the first time in Qatar:

B/R Football @brfootball

Liverpool are feeling their Club World Cup trophy 💯 https://t.co/54ucGRU0Pm

Defender Andy Robertson has said Liverpool must use the momentum from their victory to help them win more trophies in 2020, per Andy Hunter at the Guardian.

“The Champions League is absolutely massive. The Super Cup and the Club World Cup are massive to us. We are really excited about it but we have got to take the momentum into 2020. Hopefully there are a couple more of these scenes of us lifting trophies above our head to come."

Liverpool return to action on Boxing Day with a tough test against Leicester City. The Foxes are second in the table but were beaten 3-1 by Manchester City last time out.

Leicester are unbeaten at the King Power Stadium in the Premier League in 2019-20 and also possess the top-flight's top scorer in Jamie Vardy:

Premier League @premierleague

Jamie Vardy extends his lead https://t.co/HN1RsDP1xN

Manchester City face a packed schedule over Christmas. They take on Wolverhampton Wanderers, Sheffield United and Everton in the Premier League, Port Vale in the FA Cup and Manchester United in the Carabao Cup.

Guardiola is not happy with his team's scheduling and has written to the Premier League to complain, according to James Ducker at the Telegraph.

Manchester City can't afford to drop many points if they are to have any chance of retaining their title. Liverpool's healthy lead and dominant form this season make them hot favourites to finish in top spot.