English Premiership

Pep hints at defensive rotation ahead of Watford test

2019-09-19 11:17
Kyle Walker
Kyle Walker (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has hinted at a defensive reshuffle for Saturday's clash with Watford at the Etihad Stadium.

City kicked off their Champions League campaign with a comfortable 3-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine on Wednesday night, much to the delight of Guardiola.

Riyad Mahrez, Ilkay Gundogan, and Gabriel Jesus were all on target during the Group C clash, but Guardiola says there is no time to celebrate with the Hornets on the horizon.

City need to bounce back in the Premier League following a shock defeat against Norwich last weekend, and Guardiola's focus is now on the weekend.

"I think already about Watford as we don't have much time, but to start away in the Champions League with a good result (is positive) and I know we played really good," he said.

"We created incredible chances and all the guys were fantastic. It's a good result to start - better than last season."

Fernandinho was not troubled in central defence as he stepped in for the injured John Stones and Aymeric Laporte, but Guardiola says he will have to look at other options going forward.

The Spanish tactician says he cannot expect the Brazilian and Nicolas Otamendi to play every game there and other options are needed.

Youngster Eric Garcia, who was on the bench last night is one, but the more experienced Kyle Walker and new signing Rodri could also play as makeshift centre-backs.

"I didn't have doubts he (Fernandinho) could do it and he's going to do it (again)," he added. "But Nico is 31, Fernandinho is 34, and next alternative is 18. For three or four months I don't know what will happen.

"Both were incredible tonight but we need another solution - Rodri or Kyle (Walker) maybe - because they cannot play every game at their age."

- TeamTalk Media

 

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Fixtures
Saturday, 23 November 2019
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur, London Stadium 14:30
Arsenal v Southampton, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Everton v Norwich City, Goodison Park 17:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Watford v Burnley, Vicarage Road 17:00
AFC Bournemouth v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Chelsea, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 24 November 2019
Sheffield United v Manchester United, Bramall Lane 18:30
Monday, 25 November 2019
Aston Villa v Newcastle United, Villa Park 22:00
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