In the approach to the start of the current season, the general assumption was that Pep Guardiola would glide to another Premier League title with Manchester City.

Sure, Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool side were expected to give some competition, but it was still City who were out in front as clear favourites.

Manchester City are currently top thanks to a far superior goal difference, but Liverpool have a game in hand and technically the title is in their hands.

Win every game and that’s that.

Ilkay Gundogan appears to believe things could, and perhaps should, be different. Speaking to SportBild this week, the midfielder explained to the German magazine that City have faced some hiccups.

He doesn’t say so directly, but many fans of the Manchester club will point to the absence of Kevin de Bruyne as a real issue for Guardiola at times this season.

Gundogan said: “We could have made it easier, we had a lot of problems in the first half of the season. Liverpool are playing a great season, they are incredibly stable and have great offensive football.”

The German international also thinks Klopp’s side have improved in defence, and when asked for his opinion on the upcoming Champions League tie between the Reds and Bayern Munich, he favoured the English team: “A good and difficult question. I know how difficult it is to play in Liverpool. So I honestly see Liverpool a bit ahead of Bayern. They can light a fire at Anfield, develop a dynamic that is second to none. In 15 minutes you can concede three goals. If the Bayern survive in Liverpool, they are able to beat any opponent at home.”