Last Updated: 07/08/19 6:41pm
Pep Guardiola doesn’t expect another two-horse race between Manchester City and Liverpool for this season’s Premier League.
Just one point separated the teams last season as City clinched back-to-back league titles, but no other side was able to mount a challenge – with third-placed Chelsea finishing 26 points behind Guardiola’s side.
“I believe it will be different,” Guardiola told Sky Sports News. “Every team has made a step forward.
“The standards ourselves and Liverpool set last season, the other contenders have to achieve that, to take on the challenge to win the Premier League.
“Liverpool and Manchester City showed they can do it, the others have to try. But the quality of the other three, four, five teams, of course they can do it.
“Will they be closer? I think so.”
City became the first English club to complete a domestic treble last season, also lifting the FA and Carabao Cups, but Guardiola says the Premier League is once again the priority.
Man City vs Tottenham
August 17, 2019, 5:00pm
“I have said it many times, it means every weekend, 38 fixtures. Every game here in England is so demanding, that’s why it’s nice [to win the league],” he said.
“When you are going well in the Premier League, you are going well in other competitions. You are in good shape.
“It is difficult to win something when you have a lot of ups and downs. That’s why it’s the nicest one.”
Meanwhile, Guardiola says Phil Foden will be given even more game time this season.
The 19-year-old has made 37 first-team appearances but 23 of those have been as a substitute.
“He is smart,” said Guardiola. “He plays with Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Bernardo [Silva], [Ilkay] Gundogan, Fernandinho, Rodri. If a young player goes to Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, it is not easy to play regularly.
“His passion is he loves to be here. He had a lot of minutes [last season] and will have a lot of minutes, a lot of games.
“I’m sure he is going to help us and hopefully we can help him to be a better player.
“Of course he is a big talent but he has many things to improve. He is open and we will do it together.”
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Source : Sky Sports