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Liverpool won't receive title favours from Newcastle - Benitez

Steve Nicol gives his thoughts on Liverpool losing the Premier League title this season after a title race for the ages against Manchester City.

Ex-Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has said he will not offer his former team any favours when he takes charge of Newcastle United against the Premier League chasing Reds on Saturday. 

Benitez spent six seasons at Anfield and is fondly remembered on Merseyside for winning the club its fifth European Cup in 2005 -- but his Newcastle team now stands in the way of Liverpool's first league title since 1990. 

- Wright Thompson: What a title means to Liverpool

- Ogden: Liverpool's ex-bosses could decide title

Liverpool must win their remaining two Premier League fixtures and hope Manchester City drop points in their final two games if they have any hope of lifting the title, but Benitez, who fell short of winning the league in 2008-09, said he will not be helping his former team by offering up three crucial points. 

"I was clear in [last week's] interviews -- we are professional and have to do our job," Benitez said at a news conference on Friday. 

"My relationship with the city of Liverpool, the club and the fans is there. At the same time, I have been to play Liverpool with Chelsea, with Newcastle, and we have to do our job.

"We have 52,000 [fans] in our stadium and it is the last home game of the season. Everyone understands we are professionals -- for everyone here, we want to win the game."

While Liverpool face one former manager in Benitez on Saturday, title rivals Manchester City play another in Brendan Rodgers' Leicester City on Monday night. 

Rodgers also came close to ending Liverpool's wait for the title when his side finished 2nd in 2013-14, but City boss Pep Guardiola says he "cannot imagine" either manager not wanting to win their match this weekend.

Guardiola added that he will watch Liverpool's games against Newcastle -- the last team to take points off his side in January -- on Saturday before Leicester City's trip to the Etihad Stadium on Monday night.

"Brendan and Rafa were in Liverpool but they'll want to win," Guardiola said.

"I cannot imagine them not wanting to win the game, I don't have doubts the players and manager will want to win.

"The Leicester players will not come here for their holidays, maybe they have a chance to finish seventh and they will try to make a good game." 

ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent Jonathan Smith contributed to this report.

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