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James Milner Talks Keeping the Pressure on Manchester City and Supporting United

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The Liverpool midfielder says his team will be prepared to pounce if City drop points against Manchester United this week or in any of their following three matches.

Cardiff City v Liverpool FC - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

There are three hugely important Premier League matches for Liverpool to play before the season’s final whistle blows. Huddersfield, Newcastle and Wolves will all test Jürgen Klopp’s team but anything less than a win and three points would be a major disaster for the Reds’ in the race to beat Manchester City to the title.

Every game is a must-win for both teams. But if City lose any points to their last few opponents, Liverpool will be back in control of their destiny. It’s a pressure the club have been under for months now since allowing City to take the advantage in the table. Unfortunately, Pep Guardiola’s side keep winning, too, and the contest for first place is expected to keep me stocked up with unhealthy snacks for several more weeks.

James Milner, who will be rooting for Manchester United to beat City when the two teams play on Wednesday, echoed the positions of many a Liverpool supporter when he said, “It’ll be the first time in my life!”

City have been formidable title-defenders. Milner and his teammates have risen to the title challenge this season, losing only one match along the way, but could still come up short for silverware because of the equally impressive performances from Guardiola’s squad.

“I think for a long time we have had our head round the fact that we just need to win all of our games,” said Milner.

“And if we do that and it’s not good enough, you have to hold your hands up and say ‘well done City’. All we can do is keep asking them questions and keep winning our games. That’s all we can control.

“We know they’re a top team and they’ve done it before. They have a great points total but so have we. It’s about encouragement from our side at how we have improved.

“Of course it’s frustrating that we could have one defeat all season and it might still not be enough, but all we can do is win the rest of our games and keep putting them under pressure.”

City’s schedule in the league after United is Burnley (who just drew with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge), then Leicester City, then Brighton & Hove Albion on the last day. Leicester is the only match played at the Etihad.

If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was going to manage himself out of a job he had just recently managed himself into he couldn’t have decided on a more opportune time for it have to the most negative impact on Liverpool’s destiny. United’s awful 4-0 defeat to Everton won’t be be the best base with which to build a strategy to take on their city rivals on Wednesday.

So, you know, Solskjaer isn’t expected to give us a hand this week but maybe one those other teams could do us a solid and halt City’s progress. Personally and for unclear reasons, I’d like it to be Burnley but I’m not picky.