Pep Guardiola says Newcastle United match takes priority over Chelsea game – It’s ‘a final’
Pep Guardiola must be happy with his team after the Premier League restart.
A 3-0 win over Arsenal followed up by a 5-0 drubbing of Burnley, a perfect return to action.
However, speaking at his press conference ahead of facing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, Pep Guardiola has admitted that this isn’t the most important match on his mind.
The Man City boss declaring: ‘We cannot deny we have one eye on Newcastle. Chelsea is a prestigious game for us, but Newcastle is a final.’
On Monday night, the likes of De Bruyne, Laporte, Walker, Gundongan and Sterling were all named on the bench, along with Sane and Jesus.
Interesting to see just how many of their best players start at Chelsea, considering the Newcastle match kicks of less than 72 hours later.
The Champions League doesn’t kick off again until August, whilst Man City are 20 points behind Liverpool and 17 points clear of fifth with only eight PL games remaining.
Pep Guardiola won’t thrown the Chelsea game, he has such a strong squad they will be competitive no matter what, BUT Guardiola’s words appear to confirm that this FA Cup quarter-final could have fallen at a better time for Newcastle. With no other competing distractions at the moment, winning the FA Cup will be very much Man City’s biggest priority in the coming weeks.
Pep Guardiola Chelsea press conference:
“We cannot deny we have one eye on Newcastle.
“Chelsea is a prestigious game for us, but Newcastle is a final.
“The team selection will depend on physical condition of the players.
“We take a look at what will come next, not just the game against Chelsea.”
Despite scoring eight and conceding none in the first two matches, Pep Guardiola isn’t convinced by the fitness of his players so far:
“Yeah but still the team is not fit.
“I don’t know when we will be fit perfectly to play every three days.
“We have some kicks after the [Burnley] game, which is normal.
“You have to see day by day how we can avoid injuries.
“We have to handle the situation, qualify mathematically for Champions League and that is what we have to do.”
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