Arsenal could reach 100 points, says Pep Guardiola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has warned Arsenal will be hard to catch in the Premier League title race and may need 100 points to retain their title.

Arsenal, managed by Guardiola’s former assistant Mikel Arteta, could have moved 10 points clear of the champions on Tuesday but were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Newcastle United.

City, who were hosted by Everton on New Year’s Eve, can close the gap to five if they win at Chelsea on Thursday and Guardiola says that if they claim a fifth title in six years So his side can reduce many more slip-ups. ,

“The way you have to close the gap is to play well and win games,” Guardiola said at a press conference on Wednesday. “It’s not for the fact that (Arsenal) average that they’ll get over 100 points the way they’ve been doing so far.

“If they continue like this, we will not be able to catch them. We’ll have to be almost done from here and hope they carry on – they were excellent against Newcastle yesterday – and see what happens.

Arsenal, bidding for a first title since 2004, sit top with 44 points from 17 games, 16 to City’s 36 – two points less than the same level as last season. Most would have expected Chelsea to be part of the title race, but City visited Stamford Bridge, with Graham Potter’s side 10th in the standings.

Guardiola, however, is expecting a tough fight as ever.

Asked for his thoughts on Chelsea’s struggles, the Spaniard said: “It’s the Premier League, everyone is tough. So my answer at the beginning of the season is always I don’t know. Nobody knows.

“We will see what happens, a lot is going to happen after the World Cup. It doesn’t matter what situation you’re in when you travel (to Chelsea), it’s always difficult.” Guardiola said he would make a late decision on whether defender Aymeric Laporte would be able to face Chelsea, but said central defender Ruben Dias would be unavailable.

“Ruben is out. Aymer (Laporte), we’ll see in the training session today,” said Guardiola.