Guardiola to confront Klopp over Man City 'COVID break' claim

"We haven't had a break - Manchester City had two weeks for COVID-19 reasons," Jurgen Klopp had told reporters ahead of the Premier League leader's visit to Anfield.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hit back at Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp for the 'COVID break' claim he made earlier in the 2020-21 Premier League season (File Photo).

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on Friday hit back at Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp's claim that City have benefited from a "two-week COVID break" to go top of the Premier League table.

City's Premier League trip to Everton was initially scheduled for December 28 but was postponed after a number of positive COVID-19 cases identified within the squad.

As a result, Guardiola's side did not play for a week between its 2-0 Boxing Day win over Newcastle United and a 3-1 victory over Chelsea on January 3 -- which it played without eight first-team players.

"We haven't had a break - City had two weeks for COVID reasons," Klopp told reporters ahead of City's visit to Anfield on Sunday. "It's a tough year. Some teams it looks less, but for us, it's tough."

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When asked about Klopp's comments, Guardiola sarcastically replied: "He made a mistake, it was two months off, or three months, no four, four months we had off."

Guardiola vowed to speak to the Liverpool boss on the issue when their sides meet at Anfield this weekend.

"Jurgen has to see the calendar again," Guardiola added. "We had COVID, we had one week, we played with 14 players at Stamford Bridge.

"When I see Jurgen, I will ask him how long we had off. I didn't expect it from him. He knows it's not true.

"I thought Jurgen was not that kind of football manager but maybe it was a misunderstanding from him."

City can move 10 points clear of defending champion Liverpool with a victory at Anfield.

"We have not had exceptional results there, but we made good performances," Guardiola said. "We go to try to win the game, not to draw, knowing their quality and the team they have. No more than that."

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