James Milner believes Sunday’s potential Premier League title decider between Liverpool and Manchester City will be won by whoever is best able to handle the pressure.
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Third-placed City visit the league leaders with both sides knowing their destiny is still in their own hands, but that defeat at the weekend would leave them relying on results elsewhere.
And Milner, 28, who is likely to be on the bench for Manuel Pellegrini’s side, feels the clash of two high-scoring teams will prove to be a test of their temperaments.
“There is pressure on all the leading clubs, not just us, and it’s all down to who handles it the best,” he told City’s official website. “It should be a great game on Sunday. Liverpool are flying at the moment and are looking very strong.
“Anfield is never an easy place to go at the best of times and they are top of the table and really playing well, scoring lots of goals and playing great football.”
Liverpool have won their last nine league games but have not been crowned champions since 1990, whereas Milner helped City to the Premier League title in 2012, thanks to victories in their final six matches.
And the England international is hopeful that his side’s experience of winning such high-pressure games will prove crucial over the next few weeks.
He added: “We’ve been here before and have won the title recently, whereas Liverpool haven’t won one for a long time and whether that comes into play or not, I don’t know. As the finishing line gets closer, games that looked easier a few weeks ago prove to be anything but.
“It’s still in our hands because if we win seven games, we’ll be the champions. But Liverpool are in the box seat because they are top and have the points already on the board so for me, they have to be favourites as things stand. We have the ability and experience to finish the job.”