Raheem Sterling has warned Liverpool that Manchester City will be back stronger than ever next season as they grit their teeth to hand over the Premier League crown.
The Reds are now just three wins away from becoming champions after dropping points just twice all year, ending City’s hopes of a hat-trick of consecutive titles.
And Sky Blues star Sterling has admitted that his former club deserve to be on top of the pile right now.
But he has warned the Merseysiders that they are in for a huge shock next term if they think that it will be the same story again.
“Liverpool have been far better than everyone in the league and have been consistent, that is why they are top of the league,” Sterling told Sky Sports.
“We have been slacking, we haven't kept our standards that we know we can keep to.
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“From now to the end of the season we have to try and win every single game and whatever happens, happens. It's in Liverpool's hands and that's it.
“We won the league twice in a row. Liverpool are winning, leading at this point in time.
“But I'm pretty sure that come the end of the season our boys will go away and come back again very hurt if they do pick up the league, and we will be up and running for next season for sure.
“[It will be] a massive reaction.”
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City have lost six games this season, their worst record since finishing fourth in the 2015/16 season.
But Sterling insists that things haven’t gone his side’s way this year, and argued that the momentum they have enjoyed in past campaigns has been missing because of their misfortune.
“I wouldn't say we let it go too easily,” the England international added. “Football is all about momentum, inches, yards, little things from the start of the season.
“A really important moment in our season was when Gabriel Jesus scored the winner against Tottenham and it got disallowed by VAR. Little things like that take their toll.
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“We scored a lot of late goals in our first title-winning season, it started in the third game against Bournemouth where I scored the winner, and it built momentum through the season and kept happening.
“We had the belief that we could win games because we had done it so many times, we didn't rush things because we knew we could win, and we knew we could get a chance.
“We haven't been at our best this season for sure, but there have been little things that haven't quite been the slice of luck.”
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