De Bruyne sets sights on 98 points as Man City look to step up title defence
The reigning Premier League champions have not had things all their own way this season, but they remain in contention for a possible quadruple
Kevin De Bruyne feels Manchester City should be targeting maximum points in their Premier League title defence, with it possible that they could still finish the season with 98 to their name.
Pep Guardiola’s side sent records tumbling in 2017-18 as they reached the 100-point mark and passed a century of goals.
De Bruyne concedes that emulating those achievements was always going to be “almost impossible”.
City have not had things all their own way this time around, with Liverpool having topped the table for long periods.
The Blues are, however, still in the hunt for a possible quadruple – having already reached the Carabao Cup final and with further outings in the Champions League and FA Cup to come.
De Bruyne believes they remain well placed to hit their targets, with the Belgium international telling City TV: “We’re in a good position in the league – obviously we want to be first – and for the rest, we are there. We’ve been busy and we’re doing well!
“Last year, the standard was so high and it had never been done before. To repeat that would be almost impossible – we only lost 14 points in 38 games, which was unbelievable.
“Liverpool are probably at the same place as we were last year. We are a little below that but if we win every game from now on, we will have 98 points, which would also have been a record last year.
“That says enough about how we’re doing but obviously, when another team does better than you, you look a little bit worse.
“When the title race is closer, big games come to the front. Last year, if you won most of the ‘lower’ games – so to speak – you had won it.
“This season, the level and standard is so high of every team. It’s more tight so the games against the direct opponents will make the difference.”
City have one of those to come on Sunday.
Top-four hopefuls Chelsea are due at the Etihad Stadium for what promises to be another stern test of the title credentials of a side looking to successfully defend the Premier League crown for the first time.