Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has played down predictions that his team could be crowned Premier League champions as soon as April insisting that anything can still happen.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has played down predictions that his team could be crowned Premier League champions as soon as 7th April when Manchester United play at the Etihad Stadium, insisting that anything can still happen.
As things stand, City will be confirmed as champions if they win each of their next three Premier League. But ahead of facing Stoke away on Monday night, Guardiola has pointed out that this week's home Champions League defeat against Basel proves that nothing is a given.
City were already 4-0 up in the tie and prevailed comfortably anyway, but the loss, only their fourth of the season in all competitions, was still unexpected.
"We have to be focused on the game against Stoke. It is always complicated. They are fighting to be in the Premier League," Guardiola insisted as he spoke at a press conference on Friday.
"I know everyone wants to anticipate the situations when we will win the title. The best example is two days ago - we lost against Basel. Just be relaxed, be calm and focus on Stoke. We will go to Abu Dhabi for training and hopefully we come back ready for Everton."
Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling both missed the Basel game, left out as an extra precaution. But each player has benefitted from a few extra days of training and is likely to face the Potters.
Gabriel Jesus will also be hoping to start again after the Basel clash, during which he scored City's only goal, was his first full 90 game since returning to action from a knee injury last month.
Meanwhile, Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, Nicolas Otamendi, Kyle Walker and Ederson should all return to the starting XI after being rested.