Guardiola describes clash with Chelsea as a 'final'
(Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Man City via Getty Images)

Guardiola describes clash with Chelsea as a 'final'

Ahead of Sunday's clash with Chelsea, Pep Guardiola has described the game as a 'final'.

Josh Slinger

Manchester City will host Chelsea in the standout game of this Premier League weekend.

A win for the Blues will see them retain top spot over Liverpool, whilst victory for Maurizio Sarri's men will ensure they stay in the top four.

Pep Guardiola has stressed the importance of the game in his pre-match press conference.

Full of praise for Chelsea

Ahead of the game, the City boss firstly praised his opponent.

"At Chelsea, I understand what they want to do and they are doing it." started the Spaniard,  "Good organisation, offensive and defensive, they know what they want to do."

Guardiola then went on further to show how important the game is by saying "It’s a final for us. We have to play in that way. "

When these sides met earlier in the season, Chelsea inflicted City's first defeat of the season - a possible reason for Guardiola's caution. 

On this occasion, the City boss also described the loss as a 'lesson', and will no doubt remind his players of what they learnt during that encounter.

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Guardiola plays down own teams quality

Earlier in the season, Chelsea boss Sarri also heavily praised City, describing them as the best team in Europe.

Guardiola responded to these comments, disagreeing with what the former Napoli boss said. 

"The best team in Europe are Real Madrid. The last three years they won and they’re by far the best team in Europe."

The mentality of Guardiola in today's press conference shows that he knows that despite City being top, with Liverpool having a game in hand, his side can't afford any more slip-ups.

City and Chelsea will meet in a real final later this month, as City aim to retain the Carabao Cup, although both sides may feel that this game has more importance, given how much is on the line for both clubs as we head towards the business end of the season.