Manchester City welcome bottom of the Premier League Sheffield United to the Etihad Stadium this Saturday. However, this game will be no walkover. The Blades showed with their midweek shock win at Old Trafford that they can give the most inform teams in the league a run for their money.
Here's all the key quotes from Pep Guardiola ahead of this one...
Sergio Agüero and Nathan Aké still not ready
Injury updates. Sergio Agüero cannot rejoin the squad until he tests negative for COVID-19 - and as he is yet to receive his results back, he remains unavailable for this one. Nathan Aké is the other notable absentee, who Pep says is still not ready.
He also mentioned there would be no hint of rotation with key players - such as Ilkay Gundogan - playing from the off.
Guardiola on Eric Garcia
It looks like Eric Garcia's long awaited move to Barcelona is edging ever closer. Guardiola was asked for an update, but instead he just re-iterated his admiration for the player:
"I don't want to say anything about this. He's our player, the transfer window finishes in a few days. He is an exceptional player and guy and that's all."
Facing Sheffield United
Tomorrow's opponents have already this week provided City with a massive favour in the title race - beating Manchester United at Old Trafford. Guardiola knew however, even before that result, that they're a team that can cause a lot of problems.
"All I can say is what I said before the United game - a lively team. A team that is alive from their body language. That is not easy with the results they got and that speaks incredibly well about Chris [Wilder], his staff and the players."
"The United result speaks for itself. Everybody knows how difficult it is to win at Old Trafford - and I think the reason why they are still a team and alive is because they are together for a long time and believe..."
He finished by saying; "Sheffield United have always been uncomfortable for us. I’m a little concerned today about the game tomorrow."
Some tactical tweaks
Since the drab Manchester Derby draw earlier in the season, Guardiola has made some key tactical shifts. The Catalan admitted he didn't like the way his side were playing, so decided to switch it up.
"I didn't like much the way we were playing. We came back to previous seasons with wingers wider and higher and came back to our principles. The rest is the quality of our players."
"At the beginning we had to adapt the way we played for the quality of players we had. I tried to find a way but at the end I felt that wingers wide and high helped us to be more stable and have control in many aspects and the quality of the players do the rest."
"When we have the ball, we run less. The reason why we didn't play good was because when we had the ball we ran too much. I think with the ball more, we are more calm and patient. But every game is different..."
Praise for Juanma Lillo
Mikel Arteta may have been a hard act to follow as Pep Guardiola's assistant, but the boss has gave glowing praise to his number two:
"It would have not been possible what we have done without him..."
"He knows what I need to hear, especially in the bad moments. He works with the latin players a lot. He's good for me, I need him."
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