Man City's John Stones wary of Liverpool as star vows Etihad clash will not end title race

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John Stones insists Manchester City will not shake off the title challenge from Liverpool this Sunday – even if they emerge with all three points. The City defender admitted games do not come much bigger or the hype much louder than the visit of their Premier League title rivals to the Etihad.

But he maintained that a lead of four points over Jurgen Klopp’s men will not see City booking the open-topped bus with seven games still to come. Asked about Sunday’s billing as the ‘title decider’ Stones was quick to pour cold water.

He said: “I don’t think so and we don’t think about like that because you can get carried away. Obviously it is an important game. We’re first and second in the table – everyone knows that – but we don’t get sucked into the outside noise and we concentrate on what we do.

“Two years ago it came down to the last game so we’ve been in these situations before. It is vital for us in how we prepare that we stay calm. Yes we know what’s riding on this game and how important it is to us but every game this season has been a final to us so we don’t approach this any differently.

Midfielder Kevin De Bruyne went further than Stones and said Sunday’s game was amongst the biggest of his time at City. But while he echoed his team-mate’s thoughts about concentrating on one game at a time he conceded victory would throw a decent-sized spanner at Liverpool’s attempt at history.

“It is really big and everybody is looking forward to it. As a player you want to win games and trophies and if you want to do that then you need to win these big games,” said De Bruyne.

“But if you win, draw or lose, there is still a lot to play for. We are going to try and play a good game and then we will see. But that is the mentality, we want to win all three trophies. It is going to be very hard, we have done good things before but their quality is good also so we will respect that and work hard.”



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