Micah Richards fears a Champions League exit could ‘knock the confidence’ of Manchester City heading into the final few games of the Premier League campaign.
The current champions returned to the summit with an emphatic 4-0 win over Leeds United in the late kick off on Saturday, an important response after Liverpool beat Newcastle 1-0 earlier in the day. Another test awaits Pep Guardiola’s side on Wednesday night, however, as they look to reach a second consecutive European cup final.
They take a 4-3 lead into the second leg of their semi-final tie with Real Madrid, but with the match at the Bernabeu, the La Liga side will be hopeful of overturning the deficit. Liverpool also travel to Spain midweek for the second leg of their tie, as they hold a 2-0 lead over Villarreal.
READ MORE: What Jurgen Klopp didn’t need to do at full-time as Liverpool send Man City reminder
READ MORE: ‘They know’ – Gary Neville spots Man City bench reaction to second goal against Leeds
Ex-City player, now pundit, Richards expects both teams to win their remaining fixtures in the league but warns defeat to Madrid on Wednesday could hamper City in the final weeks of the season.
He told Sky Sports after the match: ” You’d rather have the points on the board, of course. But we’ve seen today, sometimes it can spur you on. You never know, the Premier League is so unpredictable. Both teams will win all their remaining fixtures.
“Liverpool, with their strength in depth. There might be one slip-up. Liverpool winning today and City today, I think they’ll win all of them.
“You don’t want to see Bayern Munich winning 10 in a row. You don’t want that in the Premier League. The only thing is, if Man City were to go out in the Champions League, that could knock the confidence.
“It knocks the stuffing out of you. That’s the only thing I see hammering City. The standards City and Liverpool are setting now. In my opinion, two of the best teams the Premier League have ever seen.”
Liverpool return to Premier League action next Saturday as they welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Anfield, while City host Newcastle United at the Etihad the following day.