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Pochettino: Kane can achieve what he wants

Pep Guardiola refuses to consider his Manchester City team as champions in waiting.

City appear to be cruising towards the Premier League crown having won 20 of their opening 22 games -- and drawn the other two -- to open up a 15-point lead at the top of the table.

But Guardiola is not taking anything for granted and is not looking too far ahead. The City boss, whose side face Liverpool in an eagerly-anticipated clash on Sunday, said: "In football and in sport, anything can happen.

"Of course we can lose the title because you never know what is going to happen in the next 13 or 14 games you have to play. Of course, if we maintain our level, the consistency and the way we play, then OK, we have a chance. But you never know.

"If we start to go down, and lose confidence, and don't play well regularly, then we will see. Maybe that is going to happen, and I am going to shake the hand of my opponents and congratulate them for being champions.

"But it is simple -- just focus on the next game. That is the best advice I can give to my players."

This weekend's trip to Anfield brings together two of the most entertaining sides in the competition. Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are in good form having gone unbeaten in their last 13 league fixtures.

With the Reds also bolstered this month by the £75 million signing of defender Virgil van Dijk, Guardiola believes the Merseysiders are as exciting as in their 1980s heyday.

He said: "Jurgen Klopp is a master of the counter-attack, so they're a team who can arrive in the finishing area in three or four touches.

"[Mohamed] Salah and [Sadio] Mane are tough guys for us to control, especially when we lose the ball in dangerous positions, because they are so fast, so quick and so clever in the box.

"Of course, [Philippe] Coutinho's not there, in the middle, with the talent that he has, but [Georginio] Wijnaldum and Emre Can are, and [Adam] Lallana's come back. These are guys who have energy, are strong, are good at set-pieces.

"I think Liverpool are playing like Liverpool were in the past, with all their history. The fans are demanding attacking football. Liverpool have to defend their whole history. In the 80s they dominated the world and European football. I think they are trying to respect that.

"We want to do something quite similar. We want to try to be the best."

West Brom forward Jay Rodriguez has been reported to the Football Association for a remark allegedly made to Brighton defender Gaetan Bong during Saturday's Premier League match between the two clubs.

Neither manager would comment on the nature of Rodriguez's alleged comment but it has been reported to the referee and he will be obliged to include in it his report, meaning the matter will be looked into by the FA.

The incident is thought to have taken place during the second half of West Brom's 2-0 victory.

Brighton boss Chris Hughton said: "Gaetan Bong has reported Jay Rodriguez for something that has been said to him. It's been handled in the correct manner by the referee. The referee is aware of what the allegations are and that will go through to the FA.

"I am aware of the allegations. All I can say is it was dealt with in the correct manner and the nature of the allegations the FA will deal with."

Rodriguez denies the claims against him, according to West Brom boss Alan Pardew.

"There's been an allegation made by the Brighton full-back to the referee and that allegation will go to the FA," he said.

"I can only say on my behalf, because I haven't seen the incident, knowing Jay Rodriguez I find it very difficult to understand if I'm honest. Jay Rodriguez claims that the allegation, whatever the allegation is, is untrue."

The incident will overshadow what was a landmark win for West Brom, whose long wait for a Premier League victory finally came to an end.

Jonny Evans' fourth-minute header set them on their way to halting a 20-game run stretching back to August, with fellow defender Craig Dawson heading in a second goal at the start of the second half.

The result will also have been a weight off Pardew's shoulders as it gave him that elusive first league success since he took over as manager nine matches ago at the start of December.

"It is a relief but we've had some really good performances here without getting the three points. I thought the team played extremely well, considering the pressure we were under," said Pardew.

"Our open play was as good as since I've been here so it's ironic we got two set-play goals - but we are strong at set plays.

"Our work this week was reflected on the pitch and that's how it should be. Work hard on the training ground and you get your reward on a Saturday. They've done that for me, I'm really pleased for the players.

"It was easy to say it was a must-win game but it was a very important game in the calendar. We worked hard to achieve the goals we wanted."

ESPN