Pep Guardiola has shared how he thinks the upcoming Premier League season will pan out for Manchester City, and it sounds remarkably familiar.
City won a historic treble last season, winning the Champions League for the first time as well as clinching a third consecutive Premier League title.
Guardiola’s side didn’t find the Premier League title race as straightforward as in previous seasons though, with City playing catch-up with Arsenal for much of the campaign.
Guardiola predicts similar campaign
This time around, Guardiola expects much of the same.
“Stay close to our rivals who I have a feeling will be in front and then in the last four/five/six months, let’s do what we’ve done the last few seasons,” Guardiola predicted when asked on Thursday how he sees City’s title defence playing out.
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“In the moments we should do it, we did it. Not now, now it’s about not dropping much.”
Guardiola’s prediction is certainly based on experience; City have developed a habit of starting seasons slowly before putting together long unbeaten runs and surging to the title.
City spent much of the 2019/18 and 2021/22 seasons behind Liverpool, but rallied in the final months of the season to pip their rivals to the title by a single point.
In 2020/21 City endured one of their worst starts to a Premier League season in recent history, but ended up winning the title by 12 points.
Last season Guardiola’s side again took a while to find their stride, while Arsenal took 50 points from their first 19 games.
In January City were eight points behind Mikel Arteta’s side, but then went 14 games unbeaten to win the title at a canter.
As long as City stay within touching distance during the opening months of the campaign then they will be confident of winning a fourth consecutive title.
Guardiola’s side will kick-off their title defence on Friday against Vincent Kompany’s Burnley.