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Can Man City give Arsenal a tough fight in EPL title race? Pep Guardiola gives worrying response

Manchester City trail leaders Arsenal by eight points in the Premier League 2022-23 with a game in hand going into Thursday’s trip to Chelsea after they dropped points in the New Year’s Eve draw at home to Everton.

football Can Manchester City give Arsenal a tough fight in Premier League title race? Pep Guardiola gives worrying response snt
First Published Jan 4, 2023, 7:50 PM IST

Pep Guardiola has cautioned his Manchester City players to play "nearly perfect" for the remainder of the Premier League 2022-23 season to catch Arsenal, who he worries may reach the 100-point threshold this year.

After dropping points in the New Year's Eve tie at home to Everton, City now trail league leaders Arsenal by eight points with one game remaining.

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Guardiola is hesitant to allow Mikel Arteta's team to extend their lead in the fight for the championship because he thinks Arsenal can achieve a century of points, a feat that only City has accomplished since back in 2018.

The Gunners were held to a goalless draw by third-placed Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night, but Guardiola said: "They could do more than 100 points if they keep this average, and we will not catch them. We have to be almost perfect and hope they drop."

'Last night they (Arsenal) were excellent. We have to reduce the gap by playing good and winning games. It's the Premier League and every game is tough. I don't know when I'm asked for my predictions, we'll see what happens until the end. After the World Cup, many things are going to happen," the Man City boss added.

"There are many weeks (left) and a lot will happen. We have not finished the first leg. Many things will happen for all clubs and teams, we'll see. Against Everton, we were not disappointed or sad about what we did. We have margins to improve, and hopefully we can do it in the next games," Guardiola added.

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Bernardo Silva recently hinted that he would consider leaving the Etihad in the summer, raising new questions about his future. The Portuguese star, according to Guardiola, is still crucial to the champs, but he emphasised that Bernardo has the last say.

"He’s a key player, so important on and off the pitch,’ added Guardiola. ‘We can talk and have a nice conversation, and always you learn something. He’s incredibly reliable against the top sides. Nothing changes about his future, it belongs to him," the Man City manager remarked.

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