Pep Guardiola expects Manchester City’s scintillating start to falter, and only then will find out if his players have what it takes to win the Premier League title.
City are on a 10-game winning run in all competitions which has seen Guardiola’ s side storm to the top of the table and secure maximum points in the Champions League.
The Spaniard won his opening 10 matches last season before an alarming dip in form in October undermined his plans, and he admits that another blip is inevitable at some stage.
Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City’s real test will be how they react to the ‘bad moments’
‘That’s going to happen,’ said Guardiola who described last weekend’s 7-2 win over Stoke as City’s best performance under him.
‘We are in October. We cannot expect to finish the season like we have done in the last month when we won all the games. It’s impossible.
‘But I want to see that. I want to see how we are going to react in that moment we drop points.
‘We will see how strong we are. If you want to become a strong team, you have to react in a bad moment immediately. We know about that.
Gabriel Jesus is keeping Sergio Aguero out of the team with three goals in his last two games
City’s squad appeared in good spirits on Friday as they trained ahead of the Burnley match
‘When everything is going well, and you’re winning by three or four, okay it’s important, but it doesn’t count for much. How you do in the bad moments is important.
‘I am waiting for that moment. How does the team react?’
City have scored an incredible 29 goals in their first eight league games going into Saturday’s match at home to Burnley.
Although Sean Dyche’s side have won away to Chelsea and Everton this season, as well as picking up 1-1 draws at Tottenham and Liverpool, one bookmaker has put them as 25-1 outsiders to win – the longest odds in Premier League history.
Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan share a joke during City’s training session on Friday afternoon
Guardiola’s City have scored 29 goals in their first eight Premier League games of the season
‘It doesn’t count when the referee kicks off the game,’ Guardiola countered.
‘What Burnley do, they do really well. They are masters in the channels, with long balls, the second balls, in set-pieces and defend well in the box. Their results away are fantastic.
‘It’s important to continue to be focused to get as many points before the next international break.
‘We know the contenders to win the Premier League play each other: Tottenham-Man United, United-Chelsea and Arsenal-Everton.’
Guardiola must decide whether to bring back Sergio Aguero, who has fully recovered from a broken rib, or keep the same line-up for the fourth game in a row.