Jose Maria Lopez is expecting a much trickier task trying to defend his World Touring Car Championship crown due to the stronger competition expected in 2015.

The Citroen Racing driver stormed to his maiden WTCC title in his first full year last season with a record-breaking 10 victories. But the Argentine is preparing for a much tougher battle this year from a number of his rivals.

"The competition is going to be much stronger because the other drivers are going to know me, they will push harder," Lopez said. "You can see this already how Honda is pushing more, the Chevrolet drivers and the same in my Citroen team and there is a new car from LADA.

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"I can see much more commitment from my team-mate Yvan [Muller]. He is pushing more and more."

The 31-year-old driver is confident he has the package available to him to challenge for a second WTCC title with the Citroen C-Elysee WTCC car. Lopez is joined at the team by the aforementioned Muller, nine-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb and Chinese driver Ma Qing Hua.

"The competition is stronger, but at the end of the day I just have to do my best, work exactly the same and be as quick as I was last year."

Lopez begins the defence of his WTCC title at his home race in Argentina on the 6-8 March.