Liverpool midfielder James Milner says he will support Manchester United on Wednesday but will not be watching their game against Manchester City.
City are two points behind Liverpool and will go top of the Premier League if they beat United at Old Trafford.
We’ve seen both teams more cautious in their approach to matches at times. The 0-0 draw between the pair at Anfield right at the start of the season was a perfect example of this. It wasn’t the open, end-to-end encounter that many expected after the thrilling battles between the two sides last season.
“But I wont be watching. Its a bit of a waste of energy, willing the ball in the other goal. Ive no idea what Ill do, maybe go out for some food.”
Liverpool, aiming to become English champions for the first time since 1989-90, have 88 points from 35 matches, with Pep Guardiolas side on 86 points from 34 games.
The Reds have only lost once in the league all season – when they were beaten 2-1 by City at Etihad Stadium in January.
Since Matip has stepped in, the Liverpool defence has continued to prosper, proving imperious with Matip and Van Dijk at the heart of operations, helping the club reach the Champions League semi-finals as well as the distinct possibility of clinching a first ever Premier League title.
However, City, who have won 10 successive Premier League games, will win the title if they win their four remaining matches.
“Its frustrating to think weve had one defeat all year and it might not be enough,” added Milner, twice a Premier League title-winner during his five seasons with City.
“We just need to win the rest of our games. If we do that and its not good enough then you have to hold your hands up and say well done City.
City have conceded just 22 goals this campaign, keeping 17 clean sheets in that time. Their defensive resoluteness has often been overshadowed by the club’s world-class brilliance in the final third, but the form of Stones and Laporte should not be trivialised.
“Theyre a top team, theyve done it before and are grinding it out. All we can do is win the rest of our games and put them under pressure.”
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Milner counts United’s three great rivals – Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester City – on a 17-year playing CV that has seen him rack up more than 600 senior games.
But the 33-year-old midfielder will put history to one side in the Manchester derby on Wednesday when City meet United at Old Trafford.
“On Wednesday there is a game as well. When we played Manchester United, they were in a much better moment than they are now and that was 0-0. We will see what comes out of that game, but we have no influence on other games.
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The derby is City’s game in hand on Liverpool and victory will restore their one-point lead at the top with three matches of the season remaining.
But City can reclaim pole position by winning their game in hand against neighbours Manchester United – who were thrashed 4-0 at Everton on Sunday – at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
“But I won’t be watching. It’s a bit of a waste of energy, willing the ball in the other goal.
Boss Klopp said: “Some people up in Liverpool might ask us if we are thinking about Barcelona (in the Champions League semi-final) or some b******t like that.
“I can’t do anything about it. I’ll maybe put my phone away for a few hours and check it after.
Liverpool maintained their challenge for a first domestic title since 1990 with a 2-0 victory at Cardiff on Sunday.
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Milner converted a late penalty to score his seventh goal of the season and secure a precious three points.
“It’s an old cliche, but the Premier League is tough – whoever you play, teams battling at the bottom.
“If United get a point and we go to Newcastle thinking we have it, then we could get knocked there.
“Go back to QPR (when Milner won the title at Man City on the final day) and it’s not easy when you’re playing to win a league title.
Liverpool’s win at Cardiff was their 27th from 35 games and set a new Premier League points record for the club.
The Reds now have 88 points, two more than Rafael Benitez’s side managed 10 years ago in finishing runners-up to Manchester United.
“If we do that and it’s not good enough then you have to hold your hands up and say ‘well done City’.
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“It’s frustrating to think we’ve had one defeat all year and it might not be enough.