Aymeric Laporte has pictured himself with the Premier League trophy on Sunday and now wants to make the dream a reality.
The French defender will get his hands on the silverware if Manchester City beat Brighton in their final game of a thrilling season this weekend.
Yet the margins for error remain slim. Anything less than victory at the Amex Stadium could give Liverpool, who trail by just a point, the chance to nip in at the last.
We will see you again “citizens”! One step more. Only one. C’mon @ManCity !💙 #AL14 You’re welcome for the assist, captain @VincentKompany 😋 pic.twitter.com/ui0IjZpega— Aymeric Laporte (@Laporte) May 6, 2019
City have won their last 13 games and accrued 95 points, but they still need one last push to finally see off the challenge of Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.
Laporte said: “Personally, I think the most important thought is to visualise myself with the trophy in my hands. That has been my motivation and something to look forward to.
“When the last game is approaching, I have that thought in my mind, the vision that, if we win this game, we can become champions again and lift another Premier League trophy.
“Now, (it is) in our hands we think about not making any mistakes in this last run.”
City have shown their champion quality to win their last four games – against Tottenham, Manchester United, Burnley and Leicester – without conceding a goal amid intense pressure.
The task now is to maintain that focus without worrying about what might be happening at Anfield, where Liverpool will simultaneously be playing Wolves in their last fixture.
Manager Pep Guardiola said: “It’s better to focus on what we have to do. If we win we don’t have to look at anything else. Why should you be distracted by other situations?”
Brighton have little to play for other than pride after securing their top-flight status for another year.
But the Seagulls did frustrate City for large spells in last month’s FA Cup semi-final and they claimed a draw against Arsenal last week, so Guardiola is taking nothing for granted.
He said: “It would be nice to score and early but maybe it’s not going to happen. We’ve analysed Brighton and know how well they defend. It will be difficult.
“If they play like they did recently, so defensively, using set-pieces, long balls, the counter-attack with (Anthony) Knockaert, (Solly) March and the build-up with the two central defenders – they are so good.
“But maybe at home in the last game they will decide to go more forward. We have talked about what we can expect and how we handle both situations.”
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