London – Liverpool may stand five games from their first league title in 24 years but manager Brendan Rodgers believes the pressure is off his side as they prepare to face title rivals Manchester City on Sunday.
Liverpool's 2-1 win at West Ham on Sunday put them two points clear of Chelsea at the top and four better than City, though they have played two games less. Rodgers' side take on City at Anfield on Sunday in a match being billed as a title-decider but the manager said his side can rise to the challenge.
“We know it's a big game,” he said. “But in the big games this season, we've tended to do well. “They (City) have invested to win the Premier League and the Champions League and they will be looking to get a result next Sunday. For us, we are just going to enjoy it.”
If Liverpool win their remaining five games they will win the title for the first time since 1990. Rodgers has been praised for his creativity and willingness to use his younger players and said he would continue in that vein for the rest of the season.
“The mentality here is to be fearless,” he said. “We will respect the opposition, but it's about ourselves. “We give young players a chance and there's no pressure on them. I will take the pressure.
“Our aim is to focus on the ball and the team. If we do that, it will take us a long way.” But Rodgers said City and Chelsea would take the title race right down to the wire.
“I think there are a number of great teams in this league,” he said. “Manchester City have got some wonderful players. Jose Mourinho and his Chelsea side are always going to be there.” – Sapa-dpa