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Pep Guardiola expects Manchester City to challenge for title next season

Pep Guardiola expects Manchester City to "fight" for the Premier League title.

City are set to surrender their grip on the title to Liverpool after winning the league in the last two seasons but the Spaniard expects his team to hit back next season.

Guardiola said: "There has not been much wrong with what we have done in terms of points and performance.

"We have ideas for the transfer market, then next season we will prepare to fight again. Out of the last nine (domestic) trophies we have fought for, we have won eight. That is not bad and I think next season we will do it again."

The 49-year-old coach added that Liverpool will find it difficult to retain the title as Manchester City were the first team in a decade to successful defend the trophy last season.

Guardiola added: "Liverpool will remain the strong team they are but when we retained the title we were the first to do it for 10 years so you know how difficult it is to do that."

Manchester City are in second place with nine Premier League games left and Guardiola is keen to secure a top-four finish, even though they await the result of their appeal against the two-season ban from European competition, which is expected next month.

He said: "In two or three weeks we'll know about the sentence from Uefa and if we can play in it or not."

The former Barcelona manager revealed the he wants to focus on their Champions League tie against Real Madrid, in which they established a 2-1 lead before football was suspended before the second leg.

Guardiola explained: "Once we are clear for qualification for the Champions League, I will look at some ideas in my head to prepare for the game against Real Madrid."

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