Guardiola admits scale of task facing his Premier League title chasers- and names two favourites

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Pep Guardiola believes that his side face an uphill task to overhaul Premier League leaders Chelsea at the top of the table, with the Catalan tactician also suggesting that Liverpool are the most likely team to challenge Antonio Conte’s men in the second half of the season.

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Goals from Yaya Toure, Kelechi Iheanacho and Curtis Davies (O.G) saw City emerge victorious by a scoreline of 3-0 against Hull on Boxing day, but Chelsea’s identical result at home to Bournemouth- their 12th straight win in all competitions- preserved the west Londoners’ commanding seven-point lead at the summit of England’s top tier.

And speaking after his side’s impressive away victory, former Barcelona head coach Guardiola suggested that the Citizens’ participation in the knockout stages of this season’s Champions League makes them underdogs in the title race.

“We have played seven more than [Chelsea], which is why it will be tough,” he told BBC Sport.

“Liverpool went so close [to the title] one year because they had one game a week and last year, for Leicester, it happened the same.

“This time Chelsea and Liverpool are the ones.”

Next up for City is a daunting trip to play fellow league hopefuls Liverpool at Anfield on New Year’s Eve, with the 45-year-old keen to treat the Anfield clash as a must-win game.

“It’s like a final for us if you want to be there until the end of the season,” he added.

“But football is unpredictable. We have to do absolutely everything to be there. Sometimes when you believe something is done it isn’t.

“What we have to do is win every game and analyse and see if that is enough.”


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