Guardiola anticipates rollercoaster end to Premier League title race

Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images

Pep Guardiola believes "everyone is going to drop points" between now and the end of the season in the Premier League title race.

Manchester City appeared to take the initiative when they beat rivals Arsenal at Emirates Stadium recently, but then drew at Nottingham Forest to allow the Gunners to reclaim top spot, before both won again at the weekend.

With Manchester United also closing in from third place, it promises to be a close race, but Guardiola is not concerned by the various ups and downs.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of his team's FA Cup fifth-round trip to Bristol City, he sarcastically quipped: "After Nottingham we were not consistent, but now we are consistent because we won one game [against Bournemouth on Saturday].

"In our game we are playing it is good, the results could be better in terms of winning at Spurs [1-0 away defeat] and Nottingham, but it is football, sometimes that happens. Of course, it is not exceptional, it is okay, it is good. No complaints for the way we are playing and fighting.

"After the last game I said the mood is exceptional and the guys are doing everything, that is enough for me.

"We are closing right to the last 10 games of the season and that will define [it]. I have the feeling in the Premier League many things are going to happen, everyone is going to drop points, but we cannot drop any, we want to fight until the end."

Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte were all absent from the 4-1 win at Bournemouth, though the Belgium midfielder was an unused substitute, and Guardiola updated to say: "[We] have training this afternoon. Kevin still has a little bit of illness but is much better."

City's trip to Bristol City on Tuesday will see them come up against a side who have not lost in 12 games (W6 D6) and sit 13th in the Championship.

"From my experience in this country when you go away from home in the FA Cup against a Championship side, always, always it is tough," Guardiola said. "At home it would be a little bit different. Away, always it is tough in the FA Cup.

"That is why we are flying there tomorrow to do a good game and go through. It is a nice competition and we will do what we have to do."