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Sky Blue News: Pep Presser, Who’s Staying, City v Bees, and More...

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Manchester City v Fulham FC - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Manchester City have one final match against Brentford before they disperse for the World CUp Break. Sky Blue News has all the latest to get you ready for the match.

Pep Guardiola sends blunt warning to World Cup countries over his Man City selection vs Brentford - Joe Bray - Manchester Evening News

City have one more Premier League game before the majority of their players depart for Qatar for the World Cup, and there have been reports that some national associations have asked clubs not to play selected players this weekend so they are better prepared for the tournament.

Guardiola had previously warned that any players he felt were ‘smelling’ the World Cup wouldn’t play, before admitting last week that some may have one eye on the tournament as it gets closer.

However, on Friday, ahead of the last pre-tournament game, Guardiola said he has been impressed with the mentality of his players.

“What I’ve seen so far, against Chelsea and Fulham where it was 10 against 11, the commitment on what they have to do is 100 per cent,” he said. “It’s the last game, most of the players right after the game leave for the national team. I’m sure they are packing, it’s a dangerous thing. They have to stay, we spoke a few times in the last days. Still four days, still three days stay here, don’t leave. Stay here. After have time to go with the national team.

Pep Talk: “It’s an early kick off, which is always a little bit more complicated.” - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue

Manchester City face Brentford in the Premier League as the club enters its final match before the World Cup break. Manager Pep Guardiola updated on injuries, the opponent and much more...

Let’s dive in to his presser

Pep on Brentford

“Same manager, same style.

“They change a little bit the shape this season.

“I remember how tough it was meeting here and away. It will quite similar.

“It’s an early kick off, which is always a little bit more complicated.

“It’s the last game before the stop - we have to do our game and do our job.

“I don’t think about a disappointing result, I am always positive before a game.

“One thing is to know exactly what will happen. I cannot answer you [on that]. But always I am positive. But, if it’s not positive, we will come back and try to be better.

“Brentford thinks the same – to finish in the best way possible before the World Cup break. It is no different for them.”

Pep on injuries

“We will see. After today’s training, we will see.”

“Kalvin you saw in the last game,” he said. “He is ready – Kyle, not yet.

“It’s a decision for Kyle and Southgate (the decision to select him) - 100% their decision. I am not involved.

“After Saturday, the players belong to the national teams. I am not worried.”


Last weekend’s dramatic 95th minute penalty winner against Fulham made it 18 Premier League goals and 23 in total since Haaland joined City from Borussia Dortmund in the summer.

That remarkable return has already seen the 22-year-old rewrite the record books this term.

And, ahead of Saturday’s latest Premier League game at home to Brentford, which will be our final match ahead of the break for the World Cup finals, admiring team-mate Rodri described Haaland as a goalscoring ‘beast’ and a striker he believes is destined to go on to make goal-scoring history.

“He was born for this, scoring goals and he is going to break all of the records for sure,” was Rodrigo’s verdict on the Norwegian’s incendiary City impact.

“I think he has changed everything. He changed the fact that this kind of player makes a difference in every single game.

“He has had a huge impact in the team and he is a beast.

Revealed: The eight Manchester City first-team players who are not going to the Qatar World Cup - Harry Winters- City Xtra

Pep Guardiola is set to retain a small number of his first-team squad over the course of the next month, with those not competing in Qatar potentially going to be involved in a warm-weather training camp in Abu Dhabi following a period of leave.

Beating Chelsea in the Carabao Cup in midweek means that the Blues will now play before Christmas, with City due to host Liverpool in the last 16 of the competition during the week of December 19th.

Pep Guardiola’s side return to Premier League action on Wednesday 28th December, when the Champions travel to Elland Road to face Leeds United.

City are then scheduled to face Everton on New Year’s Eve before a challenging January which includes clashes with Chelsea and Manchester United.

Manchester City v Brentford - Head-to-Head - Manc Pete - Bitter and Blue

The fortunes of both clubs have kept each other apart for much of their respective histories. The two have only met seven times previously in Manchester, with City winning six to Brentford’s one. The first meeting between the two was in January 1932 when City were drawn against Brentford in the FA Cup - the blues won 6-1.

The two have met five times in the league overall, with City winning all but one - a 2-0 defeat at Maine Road on Christmas Day 1937. In February, the two met for the first time in the league in 72 years, with City winning 2-0. The previous match at Maine Road was also won by the blues, who romped to a 4-0 victory.

February’s match was also the first meeting between the two in 33 years in all competitions. In 1989, the blues were paired with the Bees in the League Cup. After losing the first leg 2-1 in London, City turned it around and hammered the visitors 4-1 at Maine Road to go through 5-3 on aggregate.

Manchester City vs. Brentford: predicted starting line-up - Laura Graves - Man City Square

Home form for the blues has been excellent so far this season, with some memorable atmospheres created already; there seems to be an added umph this season for the fans.

Manchester City have won all of their home games so far this season in both the Premier League, Champions League and Carabao Cup.

Brentford haven’t won a game since beating Brighton at home 2-0 on the 14th of October and were knocked out of the Carabao Cup this week after their home fixture to Gillingham went to penalties.

With plenty of the first team rested midweek, who will Pep start in the final Premier League clash before Christmas?

And finally... Pep gives updates on Erling and Kyle ahead of the match.

Pep Guardiola delivers Erling Braut Haaland, Kyle Walker injury update for Brentford clash - Oliver Thomas - Sports Mole

The Norwegian missed two successive games against Leicester City and Sevilla after sustaining a ligament injury in his foot against former club Borussia Dortmund last month.

Haaland then came off the bench to score a dramatic 95th-minute winning penalty in the 2-1 victory against Fulham last weekend, increasing his goal tally in the Premier League to 18 after just 12 appearances.

However, Haaland was an unused substitute in the 2-0 EFL Cup third-round win against Chelsea on Wednesday, with Guardiola stating before kickoff that the striker’s foot injury is ’still not perfect’.

Asked at a press conference on Friday about whether Haaland is fit to start against Brentford, Guardiola said: “We will see. After today’s training, we will see.”

The Spaniard was then asked whether the 22-year-old is feeling better, and he replied: “A little bit.”

There you have it Cityzens. Stay with Bitter and Blue throughout the day for all the latest and follow @BitterandBlue1 on Twitter for reactions. Come on City!!!