Phil Foden makes Liverpool & Arsenal title claim after Man City hat-trick v Brentford

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The Manchester City star said he still wants to be the go-to guy despite the returns of Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland.

Phil Foden has said he doesn’t expect Liverpool and Arsenal to drop many points in the final months of the season, as the pair compete with Manchester City for the 2023/24 Premier League title.

A 3-1 win over Brentford on Monday night saw City move above Arsenal and into second place, while Pep Guardiola’s side are just two points behind leaders Liverpool. But, crucially, City have a game in hand on their rivals, which comes in two weeks’ time at home to Brentford.

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The Blues - inspired by Phil Foden’s hat-trick at the Gtech Community Stadium - extended their winning run in the league to five games, and have favourable fixtures upcoming against Everton, Brentford, Chelsea and Bournemouth. City are well versed when it comes to putting together a sequence of victories at the business end of the season, and Foden thinks they will need to finish strong if they are to win an historic fourth league title.

“Liverpool and Arsenal are playing really well at the moment, and I don’t see them dropping many points - that’s the standard of the Premier League,” claimed the 23-year-old. “I think it’s going to be close. We have to be at our best form and play our best football if we want to win the league. 

“We have to take it game by game and not think too far ahead. If we want to win the league, we have to keep putting points on the table and not slip up. We’ve done it in the past.”

City have been buoyed by the returns of Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland in recent weeks, with the latter starting his first game in nearly two months on Monday night. As for De Bruyne, who has been in magnificent form since he returned, he started a second successive game of the season and completed 90 minutes for the first time.

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“It’s important for him and Kev to be back,” claimed Foden. “It’s massive for us. Having two big talents like that back is going to help us a lot. Probably the two most important players for us, so we're delighted to have them back and I’m glad they’re getting more game time and sharpness.”

But in the absence of De Bruyne and Haaland, Foden has stepped up this season. He’s on 11 goals in all competitions and is just five shy of his best-ever tally in a season, while he’s also provided seven assists.

Only four players - Mohammed Salah, Ollie Watkins, Haaland and Heung-min Son - have produced more goal involvements in the than Foden in the league this season, and City’s no.47 said it’s important he continues adding to those numbers despite the returns of De Bruyne and Haaland.

“I’ve been getting goals and assists recently and playing more centrally,” said Foden. “I think that’s one of the reasons why. It’s important for me to be an attacker and get the goals and assists. The team needs to rely on players like me to find a solution - I want to be that player. 

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“I’m playing with quality and world-class players, they always find me in good areas and it’s down to them. It’s a little bit on me - running in behind and trying to score. I want to be threatening in behind and try to get goals and assists.”

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