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Last Updated: 10/02/19 7:12am











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Pep Guardiola says it is ‘top’ that his side are in contention to retain their Premier League title and believes victory against Chelsea on Sunday will ensure they remain in the hunt until the end of the season.

Pep Guardiola says it is ‘top’ that his side are in contention to retain their Premier League title and believes victory against Chelsea on Sunday will ensure they remain in the hunt until the end of the season.

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City being in contention for the Premier League title is an achievement in itself, as his side bid to become the first in a decade to defend the league crown.

Manchester City will follow Manchester United, who won consecutively in 2008 and 2009, as the last side to lift the Premier League title back-to-back with increased intrigue over the title run-in this term.

Guardiola believes his side’s ability to stay with Liverpool, who have fallen behind City on goal difference ahead of the weekend’s fixtures, is testament to the strength of resolve within the squad.

Manchester City have reacted well to their defeat against Newcastle last week

Manchester City have reacted well to their defeat against Newcastle last week

“I know the last five, six years, the last champions what happened to them the year after [and] in which position they were,” Guardiola said.

“All of them they were out [of the title race]. They don’t have the chance in that period to win the Premier League. We are there. That is what I am delighted about the most this season.

  • Chelsea (Premier League) – Sunday 10
  • Newport County (FA Cup) – Saturday 16
  • Schalke (Champions League) – Wednesday 20
  • Chelsea (League Cup final) – Sunday 24
  • West Ham (Premier League) – Wednesday 27

“When the people say ‘you underestimated Newcastle’, you don’t underestimate anyone when you are in the final of the Carabao Cup again and you are in all the competitions.

“Chelsea, three seasons ago Leicester and the others in this period [had] no chance. We are there. That is top. That is what I am delighted about the most.

Sky Live: Man City vs Chelsea

Manchester City face a tough test in the title race as Chelsea visit the Etihad on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

“But of course we want to be there until the end. If on Sunday we are able to win the game I am pretty sure we will be there until the end, fighting to be champions again.”

Liverpool had the chance to move seven points clear with victory against Leicester last week but two successive draws have seen City move ahead, having played one game more, but Guardiola refuses to believe the Reds’ stuttering form is down to tension over their bid for a first league title in 29 years.

When asked whether Liverpool’s last two results was a sign of a lack of winning mentality, he said: “How you connect the lack of mentality with dropping four points, two draws? I don’t see the connection.

“So, it was an easy position – you feel the pressure when you are seven points behind. You have to win.

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“They dropped points because maybe Leicester did a good job. In the last one, West Ham are always difficult to play against,” he said.

“At the end they play a lot of times these kind of games. They played the final of the Champions League last season. What is important is what we have done. We had two tough games this week against Arsenal and Everton – we did it.

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Highlights from Manchester City’s win over Everton in the Premier League

Highlights from Manchester City’s win over Everton in the Premier League

“We have another one [Chelsea] and after that finally we have six days to rest a bit, prepare for Newport. It is what it is. I don’t buy this theory, even Chelsea, [Manchester] United or these kind of games that they don’t feel the pressure.

“These kind of players have eight, nine or ten seasons in this kind of situation playing many times. Of course it was a long time ago that Liverpool don’t win the league but I don’t think that is the reason they play with more tension.”

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