Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson plays down Manchester City clash

Jordan Henderson plays down the impact the clash between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday could have on the title race.

With just five more rounds of matches remaining in the Premier League this season, Liverpool have destiny in their own hands.

If Brendan Rodgers’ side win all of their games, then they will clinch the championship for the first time since 1990.

That’s because the Reds are two points clear of Chelsea at the top and four ahead of third-placed Manchester City, who have two games in hand. However, Liverpool play both of them at home this month and maximum points in those fixtures would almost certainly pave their way to the title.

The last time the 2005 Champions League winners were this close to getting their hands on the Premier League trophy was back in 2008-09 when under Rafael Benitez, they fell short of the mark by four points to their bitter rivals Manchester United.

This time the Red Devils are as far back as seventh, struggling to even get into a Europa League spot, let alone compete for the title, while under the tutelage of Northern Irishman Rodgers, Liverpool have consolidated their position at the top of the table and are now in a genuinely great position to win the championship for the first time in the Premier League era.

There have been suggestions that Liverpool players could struggle with the late pressure, and their mentality will certainly be tested on Sunday when Manchester City visit Anfield.

The Citizens have improved away from home since November and will be confident of getting maximum points on Merseyside. There have been claims that the title race could be decided on Sunday: the losers would slip up and fade away, while the winners would take a huge step towards success.

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson does not subscribe to that idea. The England international believes that the result in Liverpool at the weekend will not settle everything, as there are four matches to come after that, including the visit of Chelsea.

That’s not to say that Henderson thinks that Liverpool can afford to drop points against their title rivals. They have lost just five points in front of their own supporters all season and will head into the encounter with confidence.

"We've got five games left,” Sky Sports quotes the 23-year-old as saying. “It's not one. It's five. We've got to take each one as it comes and it is City - it is a big game but so are the other four.

"I've said all along that we must take each game as it comes and obviously the next one is Man City and we must approach that like we have been all season. We've got to put on a good performance and get the three points.

“We've got to concentrate, keep our focus and keep approaching games like we have been. We are high on confidence. But we continue to work hard on the training ground and in games. That's the most important thing.

"No matter what circumstances you are in the game, if you keep working then your just rewards will come. That's what happened at West Ham. We controlled the game really well, especially second half."

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