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Pep Guardiola says Manchester City's priority remains the Premier League

Fernandinho to miss Arsenal clash with hamstring injury but Raheem Sterling nears return to full fitness

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Pep Guardiola says Manchester City's priority remains securing the Premier League title.

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City's priority remains on securing the Premier League title and insists it is not a foregone conclusion.

The Spanish manager captured the first trophy of his tenure at the Etihad Stadium with a 3-0 victory against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday, and City now turn their attentions back to the league, when they face Arsene Wenger's side once again at the Emirates on Thursday, live on Sky Sports Premier League.

Manchester City can extend their lead over rivals Manchester United at the summit to 16 points with a victory in north London, but Guardiola has warned against his players enjoying their silverware success for too long with difficult matches to come.

Pep Guardiola celebrates with his Man City assistants after winning the Carabao Cup
Image: Guardiola secured the first title of his Manchester City tenure on Sunday

"We are fighting for the most important title of the season by far - the Premier League," Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference.

"More than the Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup. Of course there is an argument to be focused because the next six fixtures are terrible in terms of the opponents.

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"We have four games away and of course we are in a good position but it [the title] is not done.

"We have still to win six games and when you think about Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester United and our away games like Stoke, who are playing to avoid relegation [it will be hard].

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"We are also going to Goodison Park [to face Everton] which statistically is always a tough game. We still have a lot of tough games to play."

Manchester City have suffered only one defeat in their last nine games - when they exited the FA Cup after losing at Wigan - and, despite the manner of their resounding victory over Arsenal at the weekend, Guardiola is determined to not look too far ahead.

Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany (C), Fernandinho (2nd R) and David Silva pose with the EFL Cup
Image: Guardiola has called on his players to maintain their focus

"In football and sport you have to forget what you have done - good or bad - and think about the next [game]," he said.

"We won, we are so happy and it would have been the opposite had Arsenal won, so we focus on the game on Thursday.

"In the summer time, after May, we are going to think about our season - both the good and bad moments."

Pep Guardiola refused to blame Raheem Sterling's miss following Man City's 1-1 draw with Burnley
Image: Guardiola had some positive news about the return to fitness of Raheem Sterling

Guardiola confirmed midfielder Fernandinho will miss Thursday's game through the hamstring injury he sustained at Wembley, but had more positive news about the return to full fitness of Raheem Sterling.

He said: "Raheem Sterling is much, much better. I don't know if he can play against Arsenal but hopefully Chelsea or Basel."

Arsenal, who sit 10 points off the top four, have only dropped seven points at home in the league this season, but their inconsistency on their travels has increased the chances of missing out on Champions league football again.

Arsenal players look dejected after being beaten 3-0 by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final
Image: City will look for back-to-back victories against Arsenal

When asked if facing the Gunners this time around will be harder than on Sunday, when they were criticised for their performance, Guardiola added: "Arsenal is always a hard game. They are a tough team at the Emirates.

"Maybe, overall, they were not consistent during the season but at home they have been so strong.

"They have not dropped a lot of points at home and, the times I have been there with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City, it has always been tough."

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