Pep Guardiola has given Manchester City‘s Premier League title rivals hope by insisting his team cannot continue their run of form.

City can go 10 points clear at the top by beating Everton on Wednesday. Victory at Goodison Park would be their 17th in a row in all competitions but Guardiola said they are destined to drop points before the end of the season.

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“There are a lot of games left to play and a lot can happen,” Guardiola told a news conference on Tuesday.

“All I think about is Everton. We are in mid-February and there are a lot of points. We’ll drop points and that’s the moment I expect to see the reaction of all of us.

“Two months ago we were not in any thoughts to win the Premier League, now we are only contenders it looks like.”

City may have to face Everton without Ilkay Gundogan after the midfielder was forced off during the 3-0 win over Tottenham with a groin injury.

He will be a big miss after scoring 11 goals in his last 12 league games but striker Sergio Aguero will be on the bench as he continues his comeback. Kevin De Bruyne is also closing in on a return after restarting training.

“Sergio has been one year injured, he cannot start from the beginning, he’ll be on the bench again.” Guardiola said.

“Gundo is much better but don’t think he’s available [to face Everton].

“Kevin is getting better. He trained with the group with all of us and he’s feeling much better. Everyone else is OK, apart from Nathan [Ake].”

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