Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez has sent a word of warning to Chelsea ahead of the weekend, stating that Manchester City will want to win in order to secure the Premier League crown, although admitted that the London side want to finish fourth.
The Algerian international has been in sensational form so far this season, playing a crucial role in Manchester City's title charges on all four fronts throughout the 2020/2021 campaign.
After his involvement in the midweek Champions League action, Riyad Mahrez has now scored 13 goals for Manchester City so far this campaign, providing seven assists, to register 20 direct-goal involvements across all competitions.
The 30 year-old scored three times over the two-legs of Manchester City’s Champions League semi-final tie against Paris Saint-Germain, inspiring his team in taking another step forward in winning Europe’s premier competition.
In 2019, Riyad Mahrez guided the Algerian national team to their second AFCON win after almost 29 years. The forward admitted that he foresaw his side’s success, feeling confident sensations in their dressing room’s atmosphere leading up to the tournament.
In a recent interview with L’Equipe, as translated by Sport Witness, Riyad Mahrez was asked if he sensed similar sentiments and confidence among his teammates in Manchester, ahead of his side’s first Champions League Final at the end of this month against Chelsea.
“It’s exactly that. These are things that you feel, that don’t explain. Afterwards, maybe we’ll lose the Champions League final, but I have a lot of confidence in my team, I feel like we can win it,” he said.
Riyad Mahrez revealed that he always had faith in his side’s quality and envisaged Manchester City’s impending Premier League title win - back in the early stages of the competition.
He continued, “In the autumn, when the results weren’t so good, I would say to everyone, ‘We’re going to be champions’. I knew we hadn’t had any real summer preparation and that we were going to ramp up. There was a click in our victory against Southampton and then we had 21 straight wins.”
The recently announced Champions League Player of the Week shed some light on the reasons behind his team’s success over the years and especially this season after finally reaching the final stage of the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history.
Mahrez exclaimed, “We are a team made up of ‘top players’ who can make a difference. There is not a great star who would be above the others.”
In further excerpts from the interview, as relayed by Eurosport, Mahrez talked about his aspirations regarding the Champions League at the start of his career. The Le Havre graduate said, "I've always thought I'd be able to score in the UCL Quarter finals & Semi finals. It's true there are players like Mbappe who manage to do that when they're 17. But some of my generation who were playing in Ligue 1 at 20 have since ended their career."
Finally, talking about Manchester City’s Premier League game on Saturday against their (eventual) Champions League Final opponents, Mahrez declared that all the pressure leading up to this fixture is on Thomas Tuchel's side.
"We want to win to become Premier League Champions, but they also want to win because they want to finish fourth. The pressure will be more on them," he boldly stated.
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