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Pep Guardiola has said that he and his team are only focused on their next future before the mega showdown between Liverpool and Manchester United.

“Crystal Palace,” he replied. “It’s the only thing I want – I want to beat them. The rest, honestly, I don’t care.

“The last two seasons against Crystal Palace at home we got one point. We lost and we drew. Our performance in Selhurst Park was much better than the Etihad Stadium.

“That’s what the only concern I have is – winning against Crystal Palace.

“We will play knowing the result [between Liverpool and United], because they play earlier than us, but I don’t know.”

“I didn’t talk with the players about that,” added Guardiola. “Teams make confidence and make a positive for the next game they are going to play by how you performed in the last one.

“I don’t think the players are more optimistic or angry or upset because the people consider us not contenders this season, or maybe United or Liverpool are better than us.

“Against Brighton [in the 1-0 win last time out] we played good. In the moments we didn’t play good Brighton were brilliant.

“It is best to visualise we are in a good moment, because when you dream you want to be top of the league, you want to be in a better position when you don’t play good, you are not going to achieve it. We won’t get it.”

He added: “When we have had incredible runs I have never thought about how many wins or how many marathons we have to do to win something.

“When we won 18 games in a row in the season we got 100 points, after the win in the second game we said, ‘okay, let’s try to win the next one’.

“Then the next, then after that the next one. I never expect my players to win a lot of games. I want to win the next one, and the next one is Crystal Palace.

“This is the best way. I don’t care how many games we are able to win or not win in a row. Absolutely zero.

“It is just Crystal Palace, Wilfried Zaha, Eberechi Eze, Christian Benteke, Roy Hodgson, Luka Milivojevic – this is the only way I am concerned since the day after we beat Brighton.”

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