Barcelona boss Xavi names winner of Arsenal, Man City title charge and predicts chances of Guardiola ending Champions League woes
Barcelona manager Xavi has given his verdict on the Manchester City and Arsenal Premier League title race, as well as predicting who might win this season’s Champions League.
Xavi is on course to win the La Liga crown with Barca as they have a significant lead on rivals Real Madrid, who are sat in second. Real will have to make up 12 points to overtake Barca outright, but with only six matches left that is looking increasingly unlikely.
The league triumph will be particularly sweet for Barca as they have not won the trophy since 2018-19.
Xavi has already guided Barca to the Spanish super cup this season, though they were knocked out of the Spanish cup by Real and the Europa League by Manchester United.
Xavi has taken the time to briefly discuss City, who are coached by his former manager at the Nou Camp, Pep Guardiola.
Having beaten Arsenal 4-1 last week, City have placed themselves in pole position to win a fifth league title in six campaigns.
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They are also on course for a monumental treble, having booked their place in the FA Cup final and reached the Champions League’s last four.
Guardiola has not won Europe’s elite club competition since 2011, when he was still in charge of Barca and Xavi was operating in his midfield.
Xavi discusses Man City treble hopes
But the Blaugrana boss thinks his predecessor will end his UCL woes with City by triumphing in all three competitions they remain in.
“For me, it’s fair (for City to win the treble),” Xavi said (via AS). “They are the best team in the world, with the best coach. For us, City are a mirror.”
City have come close to winning the UCL in the last two seasons. In 2021 they reached the final, only to be beaten 1-0 by English rivals Chelsea.
Last term, the Citizens reached the semi-finals and then beat Real Madrid 4-3 in the first leg. However, an incredible late comeback from Real, spearheaded by Rodrygo and Karim Benzema, dumped them out of the competition.
Things might be different this time around though. Guardiola knows not to tinker with the system, as he did in the 2021 final against Chelsea. Plus, City can now rely on unbelievable goalscorer Erling Haaland.
He has already reached 50 goals for the season, despite playing just 44 matches. He has matched the record for most goals scored in a single Prem season, despite playing less games, while also becoming the quickest player to reach 30 strikes in the UCL.
Those in the City dressing room may have some slight concern about Real knocking them out of the UCL again, just like they did at this stage last season.
However, Haaland was not in the City squad at that point, so he will not worry about this. And he will provide Guardiola’s side with a constant threat, something they did not have last time around.
Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain are interested in raiding City for a four-time Prem winner, according to reports.
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