Manchester City face Chelsea in the FA Cup semi final on Saturday. Pep knows his team, is ready after also entering the semi finals in the Champions League. The Catalan spoke prior to the match and had much to say.
Let’s dive in-
On Aguero/team health
“Yeah, (everyone else) are OK. Tired, but in a good mood. They are OK.”
On schedule and Chelsea
“It is much, much, much easier. Imagine playing this game after not qualifying for the Champion League semis, it would be much tougher,” Guardiola declared.
“I would love to have more days to recover and prepare, but the schedule is the schedule. You handle the schedule. No complaints at all.
“Tomorrow we will face one of the best teams in Europe. Try to do a good game and reach the final.”
“No. I know him from Mainz when I was in Munich in the first season. After that he went to Dortmund,” the City boss added.
“The way he wants to play is so quick. It is tough to take over a team in the season. But he has a lot of experience being at a top club like Paris Saint-Germain and now Chelsea.
“I knew from the beginning that he would do a good job.”
On Kevin De Bruyne
“He’s arriving in a good feeling,”
“He was outstanding against Leicester after the international break. He didn’t play against Leeds to involve everyone but in Dortmund he played well.
“He is arriving for the next six weeks in the best condition physically and mentally. Signing a contract with the club is not just good for him but for the club and everyone.
“Hopefully he can continue at this level.”
“We were always strong as a team but the margin in a Champions League knockout game is so minor,” he added.
“Everything can change but the team is the same and the mentality is the same. I don’t want to judge the whole season on one or two games.
“When one team arrives in the final stages fighting for all competitions the players get my respect and congratulations. We didn’t have a break from last season and look what we have done.
“Of course, the results help a lot and we cannot deny how the backroom staff are all delighted to be in the semi-finals of the Champions League but sometimes when it is tough and you need time and you spend a lot to get something that’s why it is so nice.
“If you know the trajectory of this team with the selections, the answer is obvious,” the City boss responded.
“Of course they can play together. They play many times together, it is obvious.
“Phil can play in five positions. Sterling can play in three positions. Everyone can play in a few positions. It depends on them.”
Interesting thoughts by Pep. Expectations are high and now is the crucial part of the season where City will either stand up or fall.
Let’s hope it goes well.