Pep Guardiola says Manchester City have to “accept” that title rivals Liverpool could be the “best team in the world right now”.
Defending champions City, who beat Southampton 3-1 on Sunday, go into Thursday’s home game against Liverpool seven points adrift of the Reds.
“The problem is the other team is fantastic,” Guardiola told BBC Sport.
“[Liverpool are] maybe the best team in Europe or the world right now and in top form.”
While City have suffered defeats against Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Leicester in December, Liverpool have won all seven league games they have played.
They ended 2018 in style, beating Arsenal 5-1 at Anfield to briefly go 10 points clear of City.
Speaking about Liverpool’s ability, Guardiola added: “You have to accept it. All we can do is do our job, play our games and after that we will see.”
In addition to their dominant position in the league, Liverpool have a recent edge over City because they knocked the Blues out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals last season.
If the Reds were to win on Thursday, they would restore their 10-point cushion and become heavy favourites to win a first league title since 1990.
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City captain Vincent Kompany said the game against the league leaders is the type of match “you live for”.
“Our pride has been hurt over recent weeks but we have everything to play for. It depends on us,” Kompany told Sky Sports.
“Every living soul that comes into the stadium has to be ready to fight and give it to them [Liverpool], and we should be able to pull everything out of the locker for that game.”
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Tunisia: former President Ben Ali confirmed dead
All time, former Tunisia’s President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali has died in exile aged 83, his family says.
Ben Ali led the country for 30years and was credited with delivering stability and some economic prosperity.
But he received widespread criticism for suppressing political freedoms and for widespread corruption.
In 2011, he was forced from office following mass street protests. This triggered a wave of similar uprisings across the Arab world.
At least half a dozen countries in the region saw their president fall or conflicts break out in the wake of the former Tunisian leader’s downfall, in what became known as the Arab Spring.
Gantz refuse’s Netanyahu offer on unity government
After a vote tally showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tied with his main rival.
Israel’s weakened Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saw his offer on Thursday for a coalition with his strongest political rival, Gantz, swiftly rebuffed after failing to secure a governing majority in a tight election.
Netanyahu’s surprise move was an abrupt change of strategy for the right-wing leader. Its rejection could spell weeks of wrangling after Tuesday’s election, which followed an inconclusive national ballot in April.
Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party emerged from the second round of voting this year slightly ahead of Netanyahu’s Likud, but also short of enough supporters in the 120-member parliament for a ruling bloc.
Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, said in a video clip in which he urged Gantz, the country’s former military chief, to meet him “as soon as today”, that he had pledged during the election campaign to form a right-wing, Likud-led government.
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