Despite three consecutive draws, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola remains optimistic that his team will clinch the Premier League title for an unprecedented fourth consecutive year.
Currently, third in the standings, a point behind Liverpool and three behind Arsenal, Manchester City still remain in the hunt for the title. Guardiola firmly believes that if his team performs at the level of their rivals, they will secure the championship once again.
“My feeling today is we will win the Premier League. If we play at the level of Liverpool or Tottenham we’ll do it again. People don’t believe it after three draws, but we are going to do it again. We know that it is not easy, no team has done it yet (four Premier League titles in a row) and that is why the difficulty is there,” said Guardiola.
The series of draws included a 3-3 at home against Tottenham Hotspur and ties with Liverpool and Chelsea. Guardiola expressed concerns over the number of goals conceded but pointed out that the stat lines remain comparable to previous seasons when City won the treble of Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.
“I’m saying the average of conceding chances is lower apart from the Chelsea game. The rest of the games are the same level as the previous seasons when we won a lot of titles,” Guardiola added.
Guardiola also acknowledged the formidability of their upcoming opponent, particularly under their Spanish manager Unai Emery. Aston Villa are currently placed fourth in the league table, with 29 points from 14 matches.
“Always when he leaves, the teams are better in all departments. The run, the form that they have this season, especially at home, because they’ve won everything, but away as well, it’ll be a tough game,” said Guardiola.
As the team prepares for the match against fourth-placed Aston Villa, City’s John Stones returns from injury and might be positioned as a holding midfielder due to Rodri’s suspension. There are, however, uncertainties around Jeremy Doku’s fitness and Jack Grealish’s suspension.