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."