Manchester City are keeping track on leaders Liverpool as they bid to win a fourth successive Premier League crown with Arsenal also in the hotly contested title race
Ederson is confident Manchester City can Checkmate their Premier League title rivals and come out on top again – after protecting their ‘King’ Kevin De Bruyne.
De Bruyne has returned from a five-month injury lay-off and hit the ground running, with a goal and three assists for City in three appearances. City goalkeeper Ederson likened De Bruyne to a King in chess – the most valuable piece in the game – and said having him back can give them the edge in the title race.
Asked about De Bruyne’s return, Ederson said: “It’s just like chess – you have to protect the King! Now we have our ‘King’ back, one of the best at assists in Premier League history, third in the list now.
“We’re so happy to have him back and playing good football, especially after such a long time out. He’s a player that our team has missed a lot because he has such ability – he finds passes that very few players can find.
“He gets assists, scores goals, plays good football, he keeps the ball, so I’m very happy that he’s back and that he has returned to his high level. I hope that he can help us a lot for the rest of the season, not only him, but the whole group.”
Pep Guardiola’s Treble winners are aiming to win a record-breaking fourth title in a row, having recovered from an autumn wobble when they lost back-to-back league games. City, who face Brentford on Monday night, have taken 16 points from 18 to keep pace with leaders Liverpool, with Ederson claiming they are right where they want to be as the season enters the home straight.
“There are still a lot of things left to happen, but I think that it’s meeting expectations,” said Ederson. “We had a very good start, then followed a dip in form and now we’re on the up again, playing good football.
“We’re ambitious, with the mentality of wanting to win it all again. I think that this is the most important thing. We’re going to fight for it and continue playing well, battling to win everything all over again.”
Although Tottenham and Aston Villa remain in the title mix, Ederson reckons it will ultimately come down to a three-way tussle between City, Liverpool and Arsenal. “It’s easy to list the contenders for the Premier League,” said Ederson.
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“There’s Liverpool, us, Arsenal, Tottenham who started the season very well, playing great football, but there are also other teams having great campaigns. Aston Villa are playing very well, playing good football with a great manager and great players.
“But I think that the title race is between Liverpool, City and Arsenal. I think they are the three favourites to win the Premier League.” On City’s bid for an unprecedented fourth straight league title, Ederson said: “Of course, it’s our objective for this season, our ambition.
“The team is focused, all of the players have their feet on the ground. They’re giving their all every day, preparing in the best way to be ready for the next match. I think that we have a great dressing room, with young players who like to work hard, to dedicate themselves to the maximum.
“When it’s time to joke we joke, when it’s time to work, we work hard.”
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