Express & Star

Aston Villa v Man City: Pep Guardiola backs City to come out as champions

Pep Guardiola is confident Manchester City will secure an unprecedented fourth successive Premier League title this season.


The champions remain firm favourites to retain their crown despite being held to three consecutive draws. Yet their current form has prompted some to wonder if the team still retain the hunger to triumph again after last season’s treble success.

Guardiola, however, has no doubt and has sent out a strong message to rivals that there is no complacency within his squad.

“My feeling today is we’re going to win the Premier League,” said the City manager. “If we play at the levels that we showed against Liverpool and Tottenham, we’re going to win it again.

“People don’t believe it already after three draws but we feel we’re going to do it again, knowing that it is not easy because no team has done it yet (won four in a row). The difficulty is there and was last season but, if you ask me today what I’m feeling, we’re going to do it again.”

Guardiola does not even think his players need to use the sense of injustice from the controversial end to Sunday’s clash 3-3 draw with Spurs – when Erling Haaland was denied the chance to play advantage – to fuel them. City have been charged for surrounding the referee.

Guardiola said: “We never use these kind of situations. Today the motivation is to try and do better.

“Sometimes decisions help you, sometimes they don’t. I learn that if you want to win something you have to do it much, much better than the opponents.”

City will be without Rodri and Jack Grealish through suspension at Villa Park while Jeremy Doku will be assessed after suffering a knock against Spurs.