Manchester City have lost their last three matches to Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea and manager Pep Guardiola said he hopes they can learn lessons from last season’s results and win their Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Chelsea beat City in the FA Cup semi-finals, the Premier League and Champions League final last year as Tuchel turned around the London’s club fortunes in half a season.
The game comes ahead of a tough week for City with trips to Paris St Germain in the Champions League and Liverpool in the Premier League to follow.
“We prepare the game like we prepared for Southampton before and the previous games, try to read what they are and what we have done in recent games against Chelsea“, Guardiola told reporters on Friday referring to their 0-0 draw with Saints.
“Every game is a new challenge to improve and learn and be better. A final is completely different, the FA Cup was a final, in the Premier League it was already done. The Champions League was a massive game“.
“We try to learn. It’s one more game for the Premier League. Prepare the game from the points we have and improve what we have to be better. The mindset will be the same against PSG and Liverpool“.
City are fifth in the standings, three points behind joint leaders Chelsea. With Liverpool and Manchester United level on points with the Blues at the top, Guardiola said this season’s title race was shaping up to be one of the toughest in years.
“Every year I get the idea that (the Premier League) is harder than before. It’s really tough, an incredible challenge for us“, Guardiola added.
“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“.
Guardiola said there were still a few injuries in the City squad but did not name the players.
“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“.
Defenders Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Oleksandr Zinchenko plus midfielder Rodri missed last weekend’s draw with Southampton, while Ilkay Gundogan has also been injured.