Pep Guardiola removes yellow ribbon before Manchester City's win at Stoke

Guardiola Dares English Players To Go Abroad

With an worldwide break on the horizon, City are next in action against Everton on March 31 before welcoming United to the Etihad Stadium on April 7 - which could see Guardiola's men secure their third Premier League crown and first since 2014.

Stoke went in at half-time full of heart that they might find a way back but Silva had other ideas. This game was never going to define our season. Manchester City were 23rd on 45 points, Stoke 22nd on 46, Port Vale 21st on 46 and Portsmouth one place higher with the same number of points.

It leaves Pep Guardiola with only Gabriel Jesus as the only fit senior striker.

There will be no 200th goal for Manchester City's great centre-forward but Stoke will be wary of coming up against Jesus again after his sensational, slippery performance back in October when he scored twice.

The Citizens have won three straight and five of their last six since losing their first game of the season to Liverpool.

But to make that a possibility, they must beat Everton in their next game and Guardiola insists that they have to keep their focus particularly with Champions League quarterfinal games either side of the United clash. Despite suffering a 2-1 defeat to Basel in midweek, they cruised to the Champions League quarter-finals with a 5-2 aggregate win.

"I don't know, but when I play football I forget, I forget everything", he said.

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City's development has happened at a much faster pace under Guardiola, who, after heavy investment in the transfer market, could secure a treble in his second season in charge.

Pep Guardiola lavished praise on the Spaniard, adding: 'Normally a player of this quality you think isn't a fighter.

Stoke made a mess of a drop-ball situation in the latter stages and Sterling went through on goal but Ndiaye just did enough to put him off as he attempted to round Butland.

"But steady, we've one more game before United, which will be hard, and then we see".

Even when City goalkeeper Ederson was forced into his first serious action of the evening, it was from his own player, as Kyle Walker intercepted Butland's long clearance with a deflection the Brazilian was forced to tip over his crossbar.

Guardiola praised Silva, who joined City in the summer of 2010, for his ability to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League.

"Then it is best to play one game and rest for two because after six months you have to be careful to avoid a muscular injury".

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