Guardiola opens up on title tussle

Manchester City

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says his side are one of six currently involved in the Premier League title battle.

City are currently third in the standings, a point behind leaders Chelsea and level on 30 with second placed Liverpool.

Arsenal are fourth and three points off the pace, ahead of Spurs on 24 and Manchester United, who are 11 adrift of the pacesetters after 13 games.

It had been suggested the title battle is already down to the top four but Guardiola has refused to rule any of the Premier League’s big guns out at this stage.

The Catalan coach is also delighted with how City have kept up with Chelsea and Liverpool, who have the advantage of no European football to contend with this season.

“To be honest [the title race] is Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United,” Guardiola told a news conference. “The league this year is unpredictable and it’s going to be decided in the last two or three months.”

“We’ll have played eight more games – terrible games – in the Champions League than Chelsea and Liverpool and we are there. That’s why the first part of the season is so satisfying,” he added.

“Playing seven, eight more games in the Champions League, after going to Stoke and West Brom, and to still be with Liverpool and Chelsea, when they don’t play in Europe, is good for us.

“This Chelsea side play one time a week. It is easier to prepare well, to recover well, to take full advantage of recovery. This week we played Wednesday and, after that, straight away on Saturday.

“Sometimes it is tough to be focused again, it is tough on us in these kind of games. You have to be mentally and physically prepared to compete.”