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Pep Guardiola: Man City will need ‘incredible amount of points’ to win title

Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City will need well over 90 points to beat Liverpool to the Premier League title.

The champions have a nine-point lead over the Merseysiders at the top of the table with 14 games of their campaign remaining.

Liverpool do have a game in hand but their manager Jurgen Klopp dampened suggestions his side could put City under pressure after their victory over Leicester on Thursday.

Yet with the Reds – who clocked up 99 points in winning the title two years ago and 97 in finishing runners-up in 2019 – still capable of reaching 96 this term, Guardiola remains wary of their power.

He said: “We have made an incredible run in the Premier League – 14 games, 13 victories and one draw, that is fantastic.

“And Liverpool are still there around the corner, that shows how good our opponent is.

“If we want to fight to win the Premier League, we will have to win an incredible amount of points against these opponents that we have faced in the last seasons many times. There is no doubt about that.

“The margin to Liverpool is nothing. We have to win a lot of games – a lot – with many points, more than 90 points, to arrive at 95 or 96, to be champions. I’m pretty sure of that, definitely.”

Guardiola doubts his thrilling side could ever achieve perfection
Guardiola doubts his thrilling side could ever achieve perfection (Martin Rickett/PA)

City continue to earn plaudits and Guardiola is constantly striving to improve, but he claims he could never achieve perfection.

“Never a team will be perfect,” he said at a press conference. “We are not perfect, we are far away from being perfect because as human beings we are imperfect.

“Perfection doesn’t exist in sports, especially in football, which is not an individual sport. Many things can be adjusted.”

City travel to Carrow Road on Saturday to face relegation-threatened Norwich, a side they beat 5-0 in August.

Guardiola feels Saturday's opponents Norwich are in their
Guardiola feels Saturday’s opponents Norwich are in their “best moment” of the season (Joe Giddens/PA)

Yet the Canaries have shown signs of recovery under Dean Smith and, after three games unbeaten, Guardiola is taking nothing for granted.

He said: “It (the 5-0) was a long time ago. If we played against Brentford now it would be different from the game two or three days ago.

“They have a new manager, it is a new game. We lost there two seasons ago.

“Their momentum is excellent, seven points from the last nine. We are going to face them in their best moment of the season.”

Riyad Mahrez has scored in seven successive games for City
Riyad Mahrez has scored in seven successive games for City (Martin Rickett/PA)

One player who is in fine form for City is Riyad Mahrez, who has scored in seven successive games for the club – eight goals in total – either side of his month-long spell at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Guardiola still believes the Algeria international can get even better.

He said: “Last season was the best moment for Riyad. Still he can do better to reach the level he played at in the last four, five, six months of last season, when he was outstanding. He can do better.”

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