Puel backs Manchester City for Premier League title


Southampton manager Claude Puel has backed Manchester City to win the Premier League title, despite their humiliating Champions League defeat to Barcelona.

Pep Guardiola's men made a flying start to the season, but their momentum has slowed in recent weeks and they are winless in four matches across all competitions.

However, after seeing City beaten 4-0 in Spain, Puel  - whose Saints side travel to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday - insisted it was a hard-fought game and sees the 2014 champions triumphing again in the league this season.

"For the moment, Manchester [City] are not at the same level as Barcelona, because all this work takes time," he told a pre-match news conference

"But [Guardiola] hasn't changed his philosophy [since managing Barca] and it's a pleasure to see his team.

"For me, they can win the championship, because they have the best collective and the best quality in the Premier League.

"I think Manchester [City] played a good game, a good style against Barcelona. For me, there was no big difference between the two teams - just one player. Lionel Messi made the difference.

"I saw a very good team, a good style of play with quality, a good collective and good players."