By 90Min
January 02, 2019

Former Liverpool star John Barnes has predicted that Liverpool will beat Manchester City on Thursday, and the Reds will go on to claim Premier League glory as Pep's Guardiola's side cannot handle pressure.

Liverpool currently occupy first place in the league table, and victory over third-placed City would see them open up a nine-point lead over Tottenham Hotspur, but City would move just four points behind the Reds should they emerge victorious against Liverpool.

Barnes, speaking exclusively for bookmaker comparison platform BonusCodeBets.co.uk, claims that City will not be able to catch Liverpool in the race for the league title. 

He said: “ Last year, [City] didn’t have to play with pressure. The two times they had to play with pressure was at home to win the league against Manchester United and they lost, and then against Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-final and they lost. 

"I always felt that this Manchester City team are the best team, possibly in the world and certainly in the country when everything is going well. When they’re 10 points clear, they play with freedom. Put them under pressure and we don’t know how they’re going to perform.

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“All of a sudden Liverpool are a few points ahead of them and now they have to perform. That is one thing I would throw against them, the character that they have when things aren’t going well.

“If they were 10 points clear ahead of Liverpool going there, I think they’d beat them, but with Liverpool being ahead, they are under pressure to perform and I don’t know whether they are going to be able to do that. I’d be surprised if Liverpool lost, put it that way.

“If Liverpool win and the gap between them and City goes to 10, Tottenham are playing well but I still think they will drop points. Liverpool have not had a problem playing against Arsenal, Man United, Tottenham, Man City, the big teams. 

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"They’ve had a problem against the smaller teams, but since [Virgil] van Dijk signing, we look stronger and more capable of playing against the so-called lesser teams and winning. 

"If Liverpool beat City, then when they play against the lesser teams, because of the confidence and intensity they’re playing with, they will confidently go on to win the league.

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“I’d make Liverpool favourites now. It’s not necessarily ‘theirs to lose’, I think the Premier League is so difficult now. Once upon a time, the top five teams weren’t necessarily going to drop points, but these days you can see with Crystal Palace and Leicester beating City, that can actually happen. 

"So, it’s much more difficult now to win the Premier League from a winning position. Numerically, it’s theirs to lose in terms of numbers they have on the board, but in terms of the difficulty of the competition, it’s definitely not finished."

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