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Pep Guardiola believes West Ham United are serious contenders for a Champions League place

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‘They have had an incredible season… it’s not a secret’: Pep Guardiola believes high-flying West Ham United are serious contenders for a Champions League place ahead of crunch clash with Manchester City

  • Pep Guardiola sees West Ham as contenders for a Champions League place
  • No team outside the Big Six has qualified for the competition since Leicester
  • David Moyes’ team Hammers are currently fourth as they face Manchester City
  • City have bounced back from a surprising home defeat against Crystal Palace


Pep Guardiola regards West Ham as serious contenders for a Champions League place as they put their credentials on the line at The Etihad on Sunday.

No team from outside the Big Six has qualified for Europe’s premier competition since Leicester in 2016 but David Moyes’ team are currently fourth as they face a Manchester City side buoyant from their midweek win against PSG. 

‘What they are doing so far, they have a chance,’ said Guardiola about West Ham’s prospects.

Pep Guardiola believes West Ham are serious contenders for a Champions League place

Pep Guardiola believes West Ham are serious contenders for a Champions League place

‘It’s tough because the Premier League is really good, all four teams have qualified for the next round of the Champions League.

‘But it’s a fact that West Ham are really good as well, it’s not something that might happen, it’s reality.

‘They have had an incredible season, not just this season but the previous season as well. It’s not a secret.

‘As long as Man City are there, it doesn’t matter to me who else is there in the Champions League. Whoever finishes in the top four fully deserves it.

No team from outside the Big Six has qualified for the competition since Leicester in 2016

No team from outside the Big Six has qualified for the competition since Leicester in 2016

David Moyes' team (above) are currently fourth as they face a buoyant Manchester City side

David Moyes’ team (above) are currently fourth as they face a buoyant Manchester City side

‘In the FA Cup, Carabao Cup, Champions League, you can have one bad day but in the Premier League, the winner fully deserves it and the top four deserve it whether you think it’s good or bad.

‘In a league season you play every game, deal with injuries, go through good moments, bad moments, good weather, bad weather, refereeing decisions.’

City have bounced back from a surprising home defeat against Crystal Palace a month ago by winning four in a row. The comeback win against PSG was even more impressive due to the absences of Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden. De Bruyne has been ruled out again on Sunday as he continues to recover from Covid.

Even so, he quipped that the next generation should still try to emulate the flair players rather than his dependable defenders.

‘I would say to the kids, try to imitate Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling because they earn more money than a full-back and a keeper,’ he smiled.

City have bounced back from a surprising home defeat against Crystal Palace a month ago

City have bounced back from a surprising home defeat against Crystal Palace a month ago

Guardiola is eyeing a January break in Abu Dhabi so his squad can recharge the batteries

Guardiola is eyeing a January break in Abu Dhabi so his squad can recharge the batteries

Guardiola is already eyeing a January break in Abu Dhabi so his squad can recharge the batteries.

City have done the trip before. ‘There are many reasons; the weather, change the routine and get out a little bit, the good environment.

‘(It’s) close to the chairman and the people there to spend time together and have dinners. At the pool a little bit, sun.

‘But we are not going on holiday. We are also going there to work.’

Guardiola, who has always said he’d fancy international management when he’s older, has ruled out ever taking another Premier League job in England. ‘I don’t think I will train another club in England apart from this one,’ he stated.

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