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Guardiola plays down hopes of clinching title in derby

City make mathematically certain of being crowned champions following their 2-0 victory at Stoke on Monday.

First, City must win their visit to mid-table Everton but, should they do so, Guardiola will win his first league title in English football with victory over his old rival Mourinho at the Etihad.

“Everybody is always asking this question,” said Guardiola. “But the important thing is on March 12, we have 81 points, that is a lot of points.

“We want to be champions. We need three wins, but we are able to do it with two (if City beat United).

“But before and after United, we have the (Champions League) quarter-finals, and at the moment that is the most important thing to focus on.

“I understand for the fans, okay, but the important thing is to be champions. When and where it doesn’t matter.”

The in-form English team are also in with a strong chance of winning Europe’s premier prize for the first time in their history.

The draw for the Champions League last eight takes place on Friday and Guardiola will watch it live, along with his first-team squad, at their warm weather training camp in Abu Dhabi, where City flew immediately following the Stoke win.

City’s shock exit from the FA Cup, at the hands of third-tier Wigan, leaves them without a game until the clash with Everton on the final day of the month.

“We are going to be together and make three training sessions in five days,” said the City manager.

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