City the best team in Manchester but title still up for grabs – Vieira

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The former Blues midfielder has urged Pep Guardiola's side to remain calm in an ongoing bid for the crown, starting with a derby date on Wednesday

Patrick Vieira considers City to be “the best team in Manchester” but has urged them to stay calm in their quest to cement a standing as the finest in the Premier League.

Pep Guardiola’s side swept to a record-breaking title triumph in 2017-18, collecting 100 points and recording more than a century of goals.

A successful defence of that crown remains on the cards, with the Blues currently two points back on table-topping Liverpool while boasting a game in hand.

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The expectation is that a battle for supremacy will go down to the wire, with former Arsenal and City midfielder Vieira expecting nerves to play a part during the run-in.

He told Sky Sports of the thrilling two-horse race: "I think it [the difference in the final stretch of the season] is having all the players fit and ready to play. I think squad numbers are quite important going into the end.

"I think [being] calm, composed, and concentrated on what matters is really important as well, and I think it is about managing the pressure. Because the more close you get to the end, the more pressure you will have on your shoulders.

"I think the team that will be more calm will have more chance of winning the title."

Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2018-19

City’s game in hand is set to take them to Old Trafford on Wednesday for a derby date with arch-rivals Manchester United.

Vieira believes the Blues hold the upper hand in that contest and is hoping to see his former club get over the line and become back-to-back champions for the first time.

The 1998 World Cup winner said: "It's a derby, and it's always difficult to play a derby, but I think City in the last couple of years has been the best team in Manchester.

"I hope they will manage to go to the end and win it because they have been really consistent. They have been playing some fantastic football.

"I really enjoy watching them every weekend, they are scoring goals, and I wish them all the best."

Vieira, who ended his playing career with 18 months at City, is currently monitoring the Premier League title race from afar after taking the managerial reins at Ligue 1 side Nice in the summer of 2018.

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