Manchester City take on Sheffield United this weekend and their manager, Pep Guardiola, has been complaining already.
Guardiola saw his side comfortably through to the Champions League semi-finals last night as Erling Haaland’s goal sealed a 1-1 draw and a 4-1 aggregate score.
It means City’s treble dream is still firmly alive. It’s something that hasn’t been replicated in English football since Manchester United dominated in 1999.
Of course, City are huge favourites to see off the Blades on Saturday. However, speaking after last night’s win, Guardiola suggested his side will be rather tired come the weekend.
“The team is exhausted, so I don’t know how we are going to recover to play against Sheffield United because we play on Saturday,” Guardiola told BT Sport, via The Irish Independent.
“It’s so demanding, so I don’t know how we will arrive because now is a tough moment for the game on Saturday.”
Guardiola opted for his usual starting XI of late, barring Riyad Mahrez being on the bench. Erling Haaland missed a penalty before getting his standard goal. The City boss also had Phil Foden back in contention.
Sheffield United News View: Zero sympathy, sorry Pep
We love Pep Guardiola on this site. He is a world class manager and often speaks well about other clubs, including us, in the past.
But comments like this blow the mind a bit. Guardiola has a huge squad of mass talent to choose from. Last night he had Mahrez, Alvarez, Foden, Walker, Phillips, Laporte and young Rico Lewis on the bench. That’s seven players who are more than capable of starting at Wembley.
There’s no need for Guardiola to be making excuses like this. Maybe it is a bit of mind games. But his team should be absolutely fine. They’ll be travelling in luxury, have three days to recover, and at the end of the day, are playing a Sheffield United side they should beat in 2nd gear.
The Blades can use this as fuel though. It’s clear Guardiola has some concerns. So if United can try and make a fast start, then you just never know on the big occasion.