Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola applauds supporters on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Stoke City and Manchester City at the Bet365 Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, central England on March 12, 2018. Manchester City won the game 2-0. / AFP PHOTO / Paul ELLIS /

Pep Guardiola tried to play down growing excitement among Manchester City supporters over the possibility of winning the Premier League title when they face bitter rivals United in the derby early next month.

Jose Mourinho’s side visit the Etihad Stadium on April 7 for a game which could see City make mathematically certain of being crowned champions following their 2-0 victory at Stoke on Monday.

First, City must win their visit to mid-table Everton but, should they do so, Guardiola will win his first league title in English football with victory over his old rival Mourinho at the Etihad.

“Everybody is always asking this question,” said Guardiola. “But the important thing is on March 12, we have 81 points, that is a lot of points.

“We want to be champions. We need three wins, but we are able to do it with two (if City beat United).

“But before and after United, we have the (Champions League) quarter-finals, and at the moment that is the most important thing to focus on.

“I understand for the fans, okay, but the important thing is to be champions. When and where it doesn’t matter.”

The in-form English team are also in with a strong chance of winning…

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