Liverpool welcome Watford on Saturday lunchtime for the first Premier League action since the end of the international week, and Pep Guardiola was asked if that could prove to be a distraction for Manchester City ahead of their Burnley match later that afternoon, with the Catalan coach saying it would make ‘zero’ difference.
Pep Guardiola believes his Manchester City players will be fully focused on their local derby with Burnley regardless of Liverpool’s match with Watford.
Watford travel to Anfield on Saturday for the 12.30pm fixture, meaning City could be distracted by any potential advantage or disappointment over the eventual result.
Should Liverpool win then three points would be required for City to go back to the top of the table, as the current champions have a one-point lead over the 2020 winners.
Asked what impact the game would have on his own team, Guardiola said: “Nothing, zero.
“At the end of the weekend we will know the position that we are in but even going in a point in front or backwards we have to do our job. Nothing changes.
“(The focus is on) Burnley. We still have nine games to play, game by game we will see what happens.
“We know what we have to do, win games, that’s all. It’s hard but we are going to try.”
Guardiola described the impact of the international week on his preparations, explaining: “The plan depends on what I saw of the players in training.
“I saw how much they come back, the guys on holiday for one week and come back and after I decide.
“We have to win the game at Burnley.
“We have a lot of games this month and every game will be the best available to select.
“It’s not the first time we face it, we’ve done incredibly well so far, we face that because we are in all competitions.
“Now it’s game by game and next it’s Burnley away which is always tough especially the way they play.
“I have incredible respect for Sean Dyche and the people because for many years, the consistency in ideas and the way they play.”