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Guardiola says 'every game a final' in pursuit of title

Defender Dias set to return to face Brighton

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.
Image: Reuters/Tony Obrien

Manchester - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said yesterday that every game was like a final as the Premier League leaders look to hold off challengers Liverpool in the deciding stretch of the season and claim a second straight title.

City have a one-point advantage at the top heading into the last seven games of the campaign.

"The challenge is the same as the last two weeks, the same, one points ahead. Every game a final, challenge and fight until the end," Guardiola told reporters ahead of today's home game against Brighton & Hove Albion.

"Knowing the situation we have right now for the problems we had for many parts of the season makes me so satisfied. Analyse, remember what we are as a team and go forward."

Right back Kyle Walker will miss the Brighton clash after picking up an injury against Atletico Madrid in their Champions League quarter-final last week, but centre half Ruben Dias could return after a long layoff.

"Ruben trained really well but he has been seven weeks off. When you recover you need tempo. He's intelligent, is a guy who knows his body... don't know about Walker. For tomorrow not available, the rest we see," said Guardiola.

City take on a Brighton side that have impressed in recent weeks after back-to-back wins at Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, with Guardiola wary of their threat.

"They don't need to win at Arsenal and Spurs to know they are a good side. I have a lot of admiration for them, how they play, their results. A good test for us," he said.

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