‘They have had an amazing season … it’s no secret’: Pep Guardiola believes top-flight West Ham United are serious contenders for Champions League berth ahead of decisive Manchester City clash
- Pep Guardiola sees West Ham as Champions League contender
- No team other than the Big Six have qualified for the competition since Leicester
- David Moyes’ side, the Hammers, are currently fourth against Manchester City
- City rebounded from surprising home loss to Crystal Palace
Pep Guardiola sees West Ham as a serious contender for a Champions League place as he put his credentials on the line at the Etihad on Sunday.
No team outside the Big Six have qualified for the first European competition since Leicester in 2016, but David Moyes’ side are currently fourth against a dynamic Manchester City side after their midweek victory over PSG .
“What they’re doing so far, they stand a chance,” Guardiola said of West Ham’s prospects.
Pep Guardiola believes West Ham is a serious contender for a Champions League place
“It’s difficult 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 is also very good, it’s not something that could happen, it’s reality.”
“They had an amazing season, not just this season, but the previous season as well. It’s not a secret.
“As long as Man City are there, I don’t care who else is there in the Champions League. Whoever finishes in the top four more than deserves it.
No non-Big Six team have qualified for the competition since Leicester in 2016
David Moyes’ side (above) are currently fourth against a dynamic Manchester City side
“In the FA Cup, Carabao Cup, Champions League you can have a bad day but in the Premier League the winner more than deserves it and the top four deserve it whether you think it’s good or bad.
“In a league season you play every game, you deal with injuries, you go through good times, bad times, good weather, bad weather, refereeing decisions.”
City have rebounded from a surprising home loss to Crystal Palace a month ago by securing four straight wins. The comeback victory against PSG was even more impressive due to the absences of Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden. De Bruyne was ruled out again on Sunday as he continues to recover from Covid.
Even so, he joked that the next generation should always try to emulate flair players rather than their reliable advocates.
“I would say to the kids, try to emulate Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling because they make more money than a full-back and a goalie,” he smiled.
City have rebounded from a surprising home loss to Crystal Palace a month ago
Guardiola plans January hiatus in Abu Dhabi so his team can recharge their batteries
Guardiola is already planning a January break in Abu Dhabi so his team can recharge their batteries.
The city has already made the trip. ‘There are several reasons; the weather, change the routine and get out a bit, the right environment.
“(It’s) close to the president and the people there to hang out and have dinner. At the pool a little, sun.
“But we’re not going on vacation. We also go there to work.
Guardiola, who has always said he would like international management when he is older, has ruled out taking another Premier League job in England. “I don’t think I will form another club in England apart from this one,” he said.