City missed the chance to claim the title last Saturday when they were surprisingly beaten at home by second-placed Manchester United.
The result narrowed the gap to at the top to still what looks like an unassailable 13 point lead, but having also now lost three games in a week (two to Liverpool in the Champions League and and the Manchester Derby), Pep Guardiola is refusing to rule out an end of season collapse, and has used examples from Spanish football and the National Basketball Association to prove his point.
"Sergio Aguero is injured, Benjamin Mendy is out, John Stones is not ready and Fernandinho is suspended", Guardiola said in his press conference on Friday. But in one week we have lost three games. They are able to win their games - all six. We handled the pressure between the good and bad moments for the entire season, not just in this period. We have to handle that.
Though it's hard to see City racking up four or more defeats from those games - their toughest matches are against Tottenham and probably relegation-battling Southampton at St Mary's - Guardiola's side could drop the requisite number of points with four draws and two losses (again, as long as United win all six of their games).
'It would be better but I am who I am, ' said Guardiola. Real Madrid, years ago, lost five games in a row and didn't win the league. Of course it can happen, no doubts about that.
"After that game I don't know if he'll be ready for the Swansea game (on April 22)". [In 2016], never before, in the National Basketball Association finals, one team recovered from 3-1 down. Cavaliers won against Golden State Warriors 4-3. That is a good advantage.
"He was injured before the (Liverpool) game but made a huge effort to help us for 10 to 15 minutes. Congratulations to the opponents if they beat us".
Having led the table since mid-September, it would represent one of the most dramatic collapses in sporting history if City were caught by neighbours United, who Guardiola expects to win all their remaining six games to reach an 89-point total that would have won the championship in 16 Premier League campaigns.
"My feeling now is that United is going to win a lot of points because they are in good shape, they have top players and they are going to win six of their games".
Guardiola is concerned about the psychological effect that three defeats in a week might have on his players as they look to secure the trophy.
"The problem is we shot three shots on target against Liverpool at home, that is the problem".