English Premiership

Guardiola unimpressed by busy Christmas schedule

2019-12-23 13:37
Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has expressed his annoyance with the Premier League's congested festive season schedule.

The champions are one of five clubs who face two games in less than 48 hours this week.

City travel to Wolves for a 19:45 kick-off on Friday and then host Sheffield United at 18:00 on Sunday.

Guardiola has complained before about the close proximity of the two fixtures, which were confirmed when TV schedules were announced in October and has since made representations to the competition's organisers.

Speaking sarcastically, Guardiola said: "I wrote a letter to the Premier League to say thank you and we are going to the fridge after Wolves to get ready for Sheffield United.

"We are training on the 23rd and 24th. The night of 24th is off the morning of 25th, (we) off. Then 26th training and 27th Nuno's (Espirito Santo) team."

Guardiola wants his players to have greater recovery time between matches.

One such star he would undoubtedly wish to protect is Kevin De Bruyne, who was outstanding in City's 3-1 defeat of Leicester on Saturday.

De Bruyne, who also shone in last week's win at Arsenal, admits it will be tough to maintain the momentum over the festive period.

The Belgian said: "The first game is in five or six days, so that's OK, but the other one - I don't know what to do. We'll see how everybody feels after 48 hours.

"Normally it would be impossible to play but it's the schedule and we just have to find a way to manage, but we'll see what happens.

"Hopefully everybody feels all right for these two games but obviously we're going to have to change a few players."

- TeamTalk Media


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Sunday, 19 January 2020
Burnley v Leicester City, Turf Moor 16:00
Liverpool v Manchester United, Anfield 18:30
Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Sheffield United v Manchester City, Bramall Lane 21:30
Everton v Newcastle United, Goodison Park 21:30
Crystal Palace v Southampton, Selhurst Park 21:30
Aston Villa v Watford, Villa Park 21:30
AFC Bournemouth v Brighton & Hove Albion, Vitality Stadium 21:30
Chelsea v Arsenal, Stamford Bridge 22:15
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