After four consecutive Premier League victories and seven in all competitions, Manchester City look to continue their momentum when Crystal Palace visit the Etihad on Sunday evening.

Here's what Pep Guardiola had to say when he faced the media before this one...

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Injury and fitness update

Pep Guardiola first of all updated us with the usual injury news. Starting with the absentees, Aymeric Laporte, Nathan Aké and Sergio Agüero are all still unavailable. However, some good news is that Eric Garcia has recovered from COVID and his muscle injury and is back with the side, as is the rest of the academy players - most notably Cole Palmer

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Garcia may leave this January 

Big transfer news from Pep Guardiola! It looks like young Spaniard Eric Garcia could be making his long-awaited move back to Barcelona this month. The stumbling block has always been the price, but Guardiola's said the club may have struck a deal:

"I hope not but maybe Barcelona knows better than me. I don't know what's going to happen but maybe it's going to happen..."

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COVID friendly goal celebrations

In probably the most baffling excuse I think I've ever heard, footballers are being encouraged to not hug and celebrate together after scoring a goal due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pep Guardiola's had his say:

"We want to follow the protocols. I understand how sensible it is, I don't think the whole problem is the players. We can do as much as we can as better as possible and follow protocols. If someone breaks the rules it's not good."

"The reaction, we are going to fight, we know the situation where we cannot score the goals, so to hug it's difficult. Football is emotion in the moment but I understand. A lot of businesses cannot do their jobs, we are fortunate to do our jobs."

"We try, all the clubs, managers, doctors, clubs in the Premier League, Champions League, League One and League Two - we try to follow the protocols. We have to do it and we are going to do our best to follow the new rules for the government, the scientists."

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Crystal Palace the only target

Pep Guardiola was not getting dragged into the argument of Manchester City having a more favourable fixture list at the moment. He maintained that; "Crystal Palace is the only target," and has pointed out the dangers of this weekend's opposition: 

"They know exactly what they have to do. They defend so well, we saw vs Arsenal, quality upfront. They controlled part of the game. It was tough the last seasons here when we lost & draw. We convince the players to do their job and win..." 

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Brighton being a 'reality'

After two impressive showings away at Chelsea and Manchester United it may have been easy to get carried away with how this side is performing. Pep Guardiola agreed that the squad needed that sub-par performance on Wednesday to remind them they have to give 100% in every game. 

"Because every game is so difficult. We see it. You see the results for the other top teams, every game is difficult. When you win away at incredible teams like Chelsea and United the headlines are nice but reality is Brighton."

"We played really good, could've scored two or three. We suffered - they are good, not because we are bad. I spoke with my backroom staff, what a team we played. Every game is difficult and Sunday won't be an exception..."

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Sterling backed by Guardiola

Wednesday's awful penalty summed up Raheem Sterling's run of form at the moment - frustrating. However, the manager has backed Raheem Sterling to turn is around and has praised him for the incredible performances he's gave in the past.

"He's an incredibly important player for us. Without him what we have done in the past wouldn't be possible. In all departments he can help us. I'm more than delighted he is with us."

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Walker and Cancelo in competition 

Joao Cancelo has seemingly battled his way to be Manchester City's number one right-back at the moment. But Pep Guardiola feels the competition for that spot with him and Kyle Walker is great and the former has proven that before.

"Every player has competition for his mates. Even the manager not playing good I have competition. To take the best of all of us, even for Cancelo."

"I don't agree, Kyle had competition with Danilo. Always had competition but I felt he was more necessary than others. It counts now, today. The players I feel we have for specific games..."

(Photo by CLIVE BRUNSKILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

(Photo by CLIVE BRUNSKILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

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