Rafael Benitez says he ‘cannot win’ when Liverpool visit St James’ Park in May, report the Newcastle Chronicle.
Liverpool’s former manager insists that he will remain professional despite his allegiances to his former employers when the sides meet.
Benitez’s Newcastle are safe from relegation, but will still give Liverpool a proper game, even if it means denying them the title.
Benitez said: “If we win, they will say: ‘Oh, [he should be helping us].’ And, if you lose: ‘Oh, he was not giving everything.’
“I will not talk too much about this game until it comes around. I was in Liverpool winning trophies.
“Why? Because I was professional and I was fighting against anyone.
“Some people will criticise me because I was fighting against Manchester United.
“It’s my job to do the best for my team, and I will try to do the best for my team, that’s it.”
Benitez has retained legendary status on Merseyside since his departure from Anfield back in 2010.
The Spaniard won the Champions League in his first season in charge at Liverpool, followed by an FA Cup the following season.
However, the Premier League eluded him, despite coming close in the 2008/09 season, finishing second to Manchester United.
It is not only his exploits on the pitch that has endeared Benitez into the hearts of Kopites, however.
Benitez still supports the Hillsborough Justice Campaign and admits that the club and city remain very special to him.
It would be a cruel twist of fate for him to be the one to extinguish Liverpool’s title hopes.
However, as we’ve always seen, Rafa will remain professional and have his sights set solely on getting three points.
Liverpool fans, on the other hand, are hoping their former manager can do their team a favour.
The Reds cannot afford to drop any more points as they go head-to-head with City for the title.
And they’ll also be hoping another former manager can do them a favour by beating City two days later.
Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City travel to The Etihad on Monday May 6 – a game City will likely have to win.
Could two former Liverpool managers have a huge say in if Klopp’s Reds lift the trophy on May 12?