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Guardiola admits Premier League gets ‘harder’ every year and discusses Man City run of fixtures and

Pep Guardiola has discussed Manchester City’s tough run of upcoming fixtures and says the Premier League gets ‘harder’ each season.

Manchester City travel to face league leaders Chelsea tomorrow lunchtime, the first in a trio of fixtures that will test the credentials of the Premier League champions.

 

City visit Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League in midweek, before another challenging away clash in the Premier League at Liverpool next Sunday.

Guardiola’s side have already dropped five points in the league this season, and speaking ahead a potentially defining week in City’s season, the Catalan has opened up on the difficulty of achieving success and says the Premier League becomes ‘harder’ each season.

“Every year I get the idea that it is harder than before,” Guardiola told his pre-match press conference.

“It’s really tough. An incredible challenge for us. We accept the challenge and go for it. It’s a big compliment for the Premier League.

“The Premier League has to be so proud of the fantastic league we have, for the brilliant managers.

“Brilliant in many senses, top quality players… every club has 15/16 exceptional players. And now fans are back. It’s an honour to be here and enjoy the Premier League in this country – thank you.”

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Guardiola spoke further on his side’s tough run of games over the next week and says his side will treat each game as it comes in their pursuit of success.

“We try to learn. This is a new competition,” he said.

“It’s one more game. We prepare the game like the strong points we have and see what we can do to be better.

“That’s the mindset we have. It will be the same against Paris St-Germain and Liverpool before the international break.”

City’s challenge has been made more difficult with injuries to several key players at present, with Ilkay Gundogan having been substituted during the goalless draw with Southampton last weekend.

Rodri, Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Oleksandr Zinchenko are also all doubts ahead of the clash with Chelsea, and while Guardiola confirmed a selection of his injured contingent have returned to training, he kept their identities close to his chest.

“Some of them came back a little bit in training and we will decide if they can play or not,” he said.

“We need to see how they react, tomorrow we will see.

“We prepare the game like we prepare Southampton and like before in the previous games.

“Try to read what they are, what we have done in recent games against Chelsea under Tuchel and every game is a new challenge, a new opportunity to learn, improve and do better.”

Read – Opinion: Guardiola facing a defining week in which he can ill-afford to gamble

Read Also – Premier League preview: Eight talking points ahead of the weekend’s action

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