Manchester City’s Premier League title defence will be challenged from multiple directions, according to Pep Guardiola – who claimed Manchester United and Chelsea could still be in the hunt.
City travel to Everton on Wednesday , for a fixture that has been moved forward due to their participation in the Carabao Cup final later this month, knowing victory will move them above leaders Liverpool on goal difference .
Jurgen Klopp’s team failed to capitalise on City’s 2-1 loss at Newcastle United last week as they were held to back-to-back 1-1 draws with Leicester City and West Ham, while Guardiola’s men returned to winning ways by seeing off Arsenal 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
But Guardiola feels the amount of points left to play for means other horses could enter the race – casting a particular glance across town to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s resurgent United.
“I never said Tottenham are not there,” he told a pre-match news conference.
“I never put out [of the race] all five or six teams and United is making this run of victories every single week. They will be there to fight for the Premier League.
“We see the table and see the first two or three and say, ‘they are able to be champions’ and we don’t look further than that. If Chelsea win games in a row they will be a contender too to win the Premier League.
“Everybody is there. The gap is not too big. With 39 points to play for, nine or 10 points behind is not too much. Seeing the Premier League now, everybody is ready to take points.”