Pep Guardiola makes huge Newcastle United claim about Liverpool & Man United battle

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has had his say on Newcastle United’s battle for Champions League football this season.
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As Guardiola looks to win his first Champions League at Man City, he is anticipating that Newcastle will join his side in next season’s competition. The Magpies are just one win away from guaranteeing a top four finish and qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years.

Newcastle’s 4-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Thursday evening at St James’ Park saw them consolidate third place in the Premier League and move four points clear of Liverpool in fifth with two games remaining.

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A win against Leicester City on Monday night or a Liverpool defeat to Aston Villa on Saturday would see The Magpies guarantee a top four finish. It would also see Newcastle buck the ‘big six’ trend in the Premier League with at least a fifth place finish already guaranteed.

Aside from Leicester’s shock title winning side, only six other English teams have qualified for the Champions League group stage since Newcastle were last in the competition - Man City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.

But the table has been different this season with Newcastle, Brighton and Aston Villa all mounting serious threats to the usual ‘top six’ clubs.

Assessing the strength of the Premier League, Guardiola name checked Newcastle and admitted they ‘deserve’ to be in the Champions League next season

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“The feeling is that the top six, we invite one or two more teams to sit on the table,” Guardiola said in his pre-match press conference.

“Newcastle is there already, they are one game away to qualify for the Champions League next season. I saw their game against Brighton, with the energy they played, it was wow! Newcastle deserve to be there.

“For what they have done this season, they deserve to be there so there are more people in the Premier League [top six]. So I can not say this one [title race v Arsenal] was more difficult or easier than the other ones, it’s always so difficult.”