Pep Guardiola is confident his Manchester City side will secure an unprecedented fourth successive Premier League title this season.
The champions remain firm favourites to retain their crown despite being held to three consecutive draws at the hands of Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham.
Yet their current form has prompted some observers to wonder if the team, still retaining the hunger to triumph again after last season’s treble success.
Manchester City won three trophies last season
City find themselves two points behind leaders Arsenal after 14 fixtures, ahead of a testy trip to Aston Villa on Wednesday.
Guardiola’s men will be looking to end a run of three successive draws at Villa Park. But the Spaniard remains confident they are on track to become the first team to win the title four times in a row.
“My feeling today is we’re going to win the Premier League,” said the City manager at a press conference to preview Wednesday’s game at Aston Villa.
“If we play at the levels that we showed against Liverpool and Tottenham, we’re going to win it again.
“People don’t believe it already after three draws but we feel we’re going to do it again, knowing that it is not easy because no team has done it yet (won four in a row).
“The difficulty is there and was last season but, if you ask me today what I’m feeling, we’re going to do it again.”
Guardiola does not even think his players need to use the sense of injustice from the controversial end to Sunday’s clash with Spurs – when Erling Haaland was denied the chance to play advantage after being fouled – to fuel them.
He said: “We never use these kinds of situations. Today the motivation is to try and do better.
“Sometimes decisions help you, sometimes they don’t. I learned that if you want to win something you have to do it much, much better than the opponents.”
Manchester City have been charged with failing to control their players.