City ace enjoying title race
Leroy Sane says a proper title race is "more enjoyable" than Manchester City's procession of last year.
The Germany winger could come back into the starting reckoning on Wednesday night when Pep Guardiola's team travel to face Everton at Goodison Park.
Liverpool's disappointing 1-1 draw against West Ham United on Monday evening means the Citizens will go top if they manage to beat the misfiring Toffees.
Sane has bagged 13 goals and 11 assists this season and admits the excitement levels are a little different this time around, having won the Premier League last term at a canter, with a record haul of 100 points.
The rapid 23-year-old said: "I think it's kind of more enjoyable because it motivates you to say, 'We want to be first, we can put pressure on them (Liverpool), and it makes you want to work harder.
"It's never easy to defend a title. I think this is sometimes the reason for it - if we win then people want to win against the champions and be able to say they have beaten the champions when other teams can't.
"That's why it is so difficult for the next season. All the teams want to play at their best level, everyone wants to beat the champions or want to be the champion themselves, so that makes it more difficult."
Sane told the club's match day magazine: "Liverpool have a lot of players with a lot of experience. Even last season, they reached the Champions League final, so they know how to do it.
"We all know what we did last season, we're still doing it this season and we all know exactly what we have to do and that's the important thing.
"We have important games coming up this month, but I'm just looking forward to it. I think we're all excited to play those games.
"That's why everyone is working hard, to play well, to be on our best for those games coming up."
Nick Harris is a long-standing journalist who specialises in football and rugby league. An avid golfer, Nick also follows the major boxing fights closely.