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Paul Merson: Manchester City should not be among favourites for Champions League

20 Janvier 2018

Although Burnley have one of the smaller budgets in the Premier League, they have risen to seventh place this season but Dyche says the gap between the rich clubs and others remains significant. They've been showing it all season so far, barring the blip at Liverpool, so there's no reason to think Saturday evening will be any different. It is important not to lose again.

Liverpool showed the rest of the league how it's done with a rousing 4-3 win over the runaway leaders last time out, so how will Pep Guardiola's men respond?

They have an ideal game to get back to winning ways on Saturday when a toothless Newcastle side visit the Etihad - the Toon have failed to score more than one goal in any league game since December 23.

Newcastle Unite continue to push for new faces in the January transfer market but Rafael Benitez faces the difficulties of entering the window with his hands tied behind his back, as finances remain strict in the North East.

Here are five reasonS why.

The mentality of Manchester City fans is something that could fascinate psychologists for eternity.

Newcastle's defensive tactics were set from the kickoff - Jonjo Shelvey shot from the halfway line and the Magpies immediately retreated to the edge of their own box to soak up City attacks.

City last lost a league game to Newcastle in 2005 and have gone on to win 17 and draw three of the subsequent fixtures.

Newcastle drew last time out against Swansea, and Rafa Benitez is keeping the Magpies' heads above water in the relegation dogfight.

Ultimately, Manchester City is a team that can be beaten. Can Liverpool repeat their 5-0 win over the Welsh side from just a few weeks ago? The Argentine averages a goal or assist every 31 minutes against them at the Etihad Stadium. Both are fantastic players, but only most of the time.

NBC Sports Group's live Premier League coverage on Sunday, January 21, begins at 10 a.m. ET with Premier League Live on NBCSN, followed by Southampton v. Tottenham and league-leading scorer Harry Kane (20 goals) at 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and Telemundo. However, Liverpool proved to the world that Manchester City are not invincible. And they got absolutely rinsed by Man City.

Swansea have won just two games at home in the league, against West Bromwich Albion and Huddersfield, and their new manager Carlos Carvalhal knows his side face a hard task against one of the form sides in the division.

Meanwhile, after losing eight consecutive away Premier League games, the Eagles are unbeaten in their last five on the road (W2 D3). They will be champions unless a serious collapse occurs over the next couple of months.

Much of the week has been dominated by events off the pitch with the on/off move for Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez finally falling through.

"I'm not a guy with the mathematics, with the numbers, so all I know right now is he is still an Arsenal player, Alexis Sanchez", Guardiola told reporters on Friday, ahead of City's game with Newcastle United.

Paul Merson: Manchester City should not be among favourites for Champions League