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Win over Chelsea will prove our title credentials - Guardiola

PA | 2mo
Four defeats this season have undermined Manchester City's bid to retain the Premier League title

Pep Guardiola believes Sunday's clash against Chelsea will prove whether Manchester City are back on track in the title race or not.

City won the Premier League by a record margin last season but are involved in a tighter battle with Liverpool this time, while Spurs cannot be discounted.

City are bidding to become the first side to retain the Premier League in a decade (Martin Rickett/PA)

City have already lost four games – twice as many as last term – but given the difficulties teams have had in retaining the title in recent years,  Guardiola feels his side are very well placed.

Now he wants City to build on that to become the first team to win back-to-back league crowns in a decade.

Guardiola said: "I have known in the last five or six years the position where the champions will be the year after – all of them were out and didn't have a chance to win the Premier League.

"However, we are there. That is what I like the most this season. So when people say that we underestimated Newcastle, we underestimated teams in Europe or whatever, I say we are in the Carabao Cup final and in all the competitions we are fighting.

“If we win against Chelsea I am sure we will be there fighting to be champions again.”
- Pep Guardiola

"In the last two seasons Leicester and Chelsea had no chance, but we are there at the top.

"That is what I like the most but we want to be there until the end. If we win against Chelsea it will help us, and I am sure we will be there fighting to be champions again."

Chelsea are one of the four teams to have beaten City this season, winning their meeting at Stamford Bridge in early December.

It was City's first league loss of the campaign, with further defeats to Crystal Palace, Leicester and Newcastle highlighting areas of weakness in Guardiola's squad.

City are short of reliable back-up for influential midfielder Fernandinho (Martin Rickett/PA)

One of them is the lack of a back-up to Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho, who at 33 will also need to be replaced before too long.

This is likely to be one of the top priorities when summer recruit plans are drawn up.

Guardiola said: "The scouting department is always looking for players for different positions, and you never know what is going to happen.

"We have some options and are looking for some (more) options but today it is not easy to find the player and to buy the player, so we will see. Until summer, we have time. We are trying to help Fernandinho in that position."



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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City34282487226586
2Liverpool34267177205785
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs342211164352967
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd33197763441964
7Watford34147134949049
8Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34139124142-148
10Everton34137144644246
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
13Bournemouth35125184962-1341
14Crystal Palace34116174046-639
15Burnley34116174260-1839
16Southampton3499164057-1736
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3497183253-2134
18Cardiff CityCardiff3494213063-3331
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914
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Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City34282487226586
2Liverpool34267177205785
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs342211164352967
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd33197763441964
7Watford34147134949049
8Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34139124142-148
10Everton34137144644246
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
13Bournemouth35125184962-1341
14Crystal Palace34116174046-639
15Burnley34116174260-1839
16Southampton3499164057-1736
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3497183253-2134
18Cardiff CityCardiff3494213063-3331
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914
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