Manchester City midfielder David Silva believes the sides at the foot of the Premier League are harder to beat than those around them in the table.
The champions have lost just twice in the league so far this season, but did drop two points on Sunday when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Burnley at the Etihad Stadium.
Silva, 28, scored the opening goal against the Clarets, who came from 2-0 down to salvage a point, taking his tally to four goals in his last three games.
“Some people have looked at our fixtures over the past few weeks and said that we should win them all, but football doesn’t work like that,” said the Spanish star.
“It’s a cliché, sure, but as Burnley proved, every game is difficult in the Premier League and it is a very long season.”
The Black Cats sit 14th in the table and have won just one of their last nine matches, but Silva is still expecting a challenge.