Manchester City have a dream date on the schedule next weekend, but before they get there, a monumental clash arrives in midweek. City manager Pep Guardiola is making sure his side is focused on Wednesday night’s UEFA Champions League quarterfinal clash at Liverpool right now, not the potentially Premier League title clinching Manchester Derby on Saturday.
Yes, this is a huge week for Man City, a side that’s regarded the second team in their own city, and overshadowed by not one, but two bigger brand name sides in northwest England. However, by Saturday, they will have had their opportunities to establish supremacy over both in just a matter of a few days.
City captain Vincent Kompany admitted that it would be huge for his side’s fans to have the chance to celebrate a league title clinching, at home, right in front of their arch-rival United. Saturday is in the midst of a very busy stretch for City, with the home leg of the Champions League tie versus Liverpool coming just three days later.
It’s quite a contrast from the three weeks off City had heading into yesterday’s 3-1 win over Everton; the second club of Merseyside. (Pep Guardiola and his men have started a four game stretch in which they can show dominance over all three of the other clubs in northwest England).
For now, the priority is the trip to Anfield on Wednesday.
“We were a long time without being together, and after three weeks I didn’t want to play with maybe seven, eight or nine players who are going to play on Wednesday to have gone four weeks without playing together,” Guardiola said at his postgame news conference yesterday.
“So that’s why we needed to be together to find the pace, to find our rhythm, the way we want to play, for our massive, massive two games against Liverpool.”
“I understand the people are talking about United now but all the decisions I am going to take is thinking about Liverpool, the game before United and after United, so that is what it is.”
Guardiola added that he will make his adjustments accordingly as his side goes along: “For the line-up we have to think about the Champions League. We are going to adapt in the game against United.”
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.
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