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'Pep is a born winner' - Guardiola and Man City will now target Champions League, says Xavi

00:28 GMT 31/12/2019
Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2019-20
The Spaniard believes his former teacher will switch the focus to continental football with the league now looking out of sight

Pep Guardiola will set Manchester City's focus on winning the Champions League with Liverpool streaking away to claim the Premier League championship, according to Xavi.

City have played one more game than leaders Liverpool and trail by a whopping 14 points on the standings - a lead that looks insurmountable due to the Reds' incredible form.

Xavi, who played under Guardiola during the tactician's tenure at Barcelona between 2008-12, believes his former coach will now go out to win Europe's premier club competition and will likely prioritise squad selection.

“Pep is a born winner,” Xavi said to the the Mirror.

“It will hurt him that Manchester City are so far behind Liverpool in the league - and he won’t give up.

“He will be realistic though. The gap is a big one and at the moment it doesn’t look likely that they can make it three titles in a row.

“With that in mind, I think there’s a big chance Pep will prioritise the Champions League.

“They will be two big games coming up against Real Madrid - and maybe there will be a chance to rest players before these games that they wouldn’t have if they were in a title race.

Manchester City were taken to the wire in their chase for a second consecutive Premier League title last season, as they gathered 98 points to just finish ahead of Liverpool by a solitary point.

However, Jurgen Klopp's Reds managed to claim the Champions League trophy, an honour Pep hasn't won since 2010-11 and a trophy Manchester City has never lifted.

Xavi feels that Guardiola's team want to win the European trophy more than domestic honours and victory in the competition would elevate the stature of the club.

“Pep will want to win every trophy that he can - but if you’d asked him at the start of the season what he would prefer, I’m sure he would have said the Champions League.

“He joked with Klopp that maybe Manchester City and Liverpool should swap trophies this year - but there was some truth in that joke, I think.

“He’s won every trophy in England with Manchester City and he knows that winning the Champions League with them would take them to the next level as a club.”