Manchester City have edge over Liverpool, Chelsea due to squad - Fernandinho
Manchester City's depth of talent could give them the edge in the Premier League title race, according to midfielder Fernandinho.
Last season, City finished as champions on 100 points -- 19 clear of nearest challengers Manchester United. However, with just two points separating the top themselves, Liverpool and Chelsea after 10 matches, many are predicting a much tighter race this time around.
And Fernandinho said Monday's 1-0 win at Tottenham demonstrated the depth of City's squad, and the Brazilian believes it could prove crucial over the busy Christmas period.
"Chelsea and Liverpool are very good teams," the 33-year-old told ESPN Brasil, when asked if he expected a stronger challenge this time around. "Without doubt they are candidates, who are fighting for the title.
"Our aim is to fight with them, if they are still at the top of the table in March or April. We know that the period we have coming up: November, December is really important for the squad.
"Our squad could make the difference. Everybody knows the games over Christmas are difficult, with the rhythm dropping, players tiring, It is a time when a lot of teams drop points.
"We are very focused. We know how things work in the Premier League and today [against Tottenham] was a demonstration of that."
Despite being lauded for their attacking intent under Guardiola, City's defence has been key to their unbeaten start to the campaign with the Wembley shutout their sixth consecutive Premier League clean sheet.
And Fernandinho said that, given the conditions of the pitch -- which had been used for an NFL match between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Jacksonville Jaguars just two days earlier -- the way they played was far less important than leaving the stadium with three points.
"The result today was much more important that the team's performance," Fernandinho said. "We scored a really early goal after a good piece of individual skill by [Raheem] Sterling which was finished really well -- and this made everything so much easier for us because, for both teams, it was very difficult to create any kind of opening.
"After the goal, we defended well, created lots of chances. I think this win was extremely important for us to stay at the top of the table."
Fernandinho also joked that he had not played on pitch that bad since his childhood.
"No, not in the Premier League," the former Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder said, when asked he if had ever played on a similar surface before. "Maybe as a child in Brazil -- we had a lot of games like this.
"But this was the situation and we shouldn't complain. We need to just play. But we all did well.
"We went after the victory from the first minute -- and we should celebrate this victory."