Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admits pressure on his side to defend Premier League crown, addresses Phil Foden’s absence from starting lineup.
Pep Guardiola has said that his Manchester City side will have to be “almost perfect” in order to have any chance of catching Arsenal in the race for the Premier League title. City currently trail Arsenal by eight points, but have a game in hand against Chelsea on Thursday.
Despite Arsenal’s impressive form, Guardiola believes that City can still close the gap if they continue to fight until the very end and don’t give up. However, he also acknowledged the pressure that City face due to their past success and financial strength.
“The advantage of Arsenal and Manchester United right now is nobody has to win the Premier League for 20 points ahead in November like Manchester City has to – and this is sometimes a big problem,” he said.
In addition to the title race, Guardiola also addressed the absence of Phil Foden from the starting lineup in recent games. He insisted that Foden’s absence is simply due to the good form of other players and not because of any issues with the midfielder.
“I chose another. There’s not a special reason. The decision to play is exclusively mine and not because he is dropping something, absolutely not,” he said.
As City prepare to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, they will also have to contend with the threat of in-form striker Erling Haaland. Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount acknowledged Haaland’s impressive form and said that it will take a full team effort to stop him and the rest of City’s talented players.
“I don’t think there’s probably any one scoring as many goals as him and performing the way he is. He has to be up there,” he said.