Kevin De Bruyne enjoying ‘probably the most complete’ season of his career

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Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne believes he is enjoying his most complete season ahead of his side’s Champions League clash with Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola’s men travel to Anfield, a ground where City have not won in their last 16 visits, in the first leg of the quarter-finals.

De Bruyne is favourite to be named the Premier League’s player of the year after enjoying a key role in City’s campaign, which could be capped by securing the title this weekend at home to rivals Manchester United.

And the Belgium international acknowledges he has reached new heights under Guardiola’s guidance.

“It probably is the most complete,” he said of his season so far.

“I play like a central midfielder now and I need to do a lot of stuff but the thing I am most happy about is that I can play almost every minute without any problems and play at a level which is constantly high.”

City’s only Premier League defeat came at Anfield in January when they lost 4-3.

The game was taken away City them when the Reds scored three quick-fire goals in the second half.

“I think we had a 10-minute spell where we lost control of the game,” De Bruyne added.

“The game was 50-50 at the time and we lost a few balls and they scored quickly, which is how they can do it.

“In 10 minutes we got three goals against and it is difficult to come back but even then we tried everything to get something out of the game and if it was not for the last action we missed it was possible.

“It was a crazy game, up and down, but I think for the neutral it was beautiful.”

The game pits De Bruyne against Mohamed Salah, his main rival for the player of the year award.

The Egyptian is leading the race for the Premier League’s Golden Boot, with 29 of his 37-goal tally coming in the league.

“To score that many goals in a season is unbelievable,” said De Bruyne.

“No-one expected it but he hit the ground running and Liverpool are an attacking force and the three players up front play so well together that is why they score so many goals.

“But the way he did it is unbelievable. He has had a great year.”

Liverpool fans plan to welcome the coaches down on the stadium approach ahead of the game and in the past that has involved massed crowds and pyrotechnics.

De Bruyne is relishing the prospect of a red-hot Anfield atmosphere.

“I expect nothing less. It is the way it goes,” he added.

“I like to play in big stadiums with big crowds. In the end that is what it is all about.

“There is a lot of passion in football and if you see the passion on the field you need to try to manage it.”

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