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Pep Guardiola makes Premier League prediction and sets out plan for Man City title defence

Pep Guardiola expects a tight Premier League title battle this season

Pep Guardiola expects a tight Premier League title battle this season

Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City will be behind their rivals for a large chunk of the new Premier League season but has a plan to overtake them.

City get their third straight defence of the league title underway on Friday night as they kick the new season off with a trip to Burnley. The newly promoted Clarets will be looking to make a splash on their return to the top flight with Vincent Kompany hoping to get one over his old club.

It looks set to be one of the most competitive Premier League seasons of all time with Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Newcastle United all strengthening their squads considerably in the summer. In contrast, City will have to adapt to life without captain Ilkay Gundogan and reliable goal-threat Riyad Mahrez.

Guardiola believes it will ‘not be possible’ for his team to win the treble again and also expects the Blues to fall behind their rivals in the early stages of the campaign. However, his plan is for the team to remain in the title race running and then up their intensity in the final months of the season as they have done to great effect in recent years.

“I don’t want to forget what they achieved [the treble], I said in the press conference ahead of Community Shield, I don’t want to forget what they achieve why should we do it? They have to know. But we start again,” he said.

“I was not expecting to do five Premier Leagues in seven years honestly, but they said: ‘Yeah but without the Champions League, it will not be enough,’ but okay now we have it. What’s next? Well, what’s next is Burnley.

“I’m not going to promise you, never have, but to win the Premier League is very, very far. Many things is going to happen in 11 months, not just City at every club there will be ups and downs. Maybe the levels will drop down but not too much they’re going to drop for sure but not too much, stay, stay there.

“[Be] Close to our rivals which I have a feeling will be in front of us, being there, being there. And trying to in the last four or five months let’s do what we have done every single season and in the moment we should do it we did it. I don’t want to do it now.”

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