Juanma Lillo says Pep Guardiola will be involved in the pre-match preparation as well as during Sunday’s Premier League trip to Sheffield United despite the City manager’s absence from Bramall Lane.

Guardiola underwent surgery on a back issue earlier this week and will be absent from the Club until after the September break.

However, speaking to the media at Friday’s pre-match press conference, assistant coach Lillo revealed how Pep was in still regular contact with the coaching staff and players.

Lillo said that the boss was recovering well from surgery and added that the dialogue would be ‘continuous’ as City seek to make it three wins from three in the Premier League at Bramall Lane.

Asked specifically if Pep would be watching the game on TV and involved on Sunday, Lillo asserted: “Of course! Pep is always there!


“The contact is continuous. Telephone, video call, everything.

“He is watching Sheffield United right now. What’s important is his health. That’s what matters.

“That doesn’t keep him from being who he is. He’s fully focused on the team and the match.

“What he is transmitting to all of us is that the surgery has been successful. His recovery has to take necessary time. He feels fine. I’m happy to see him recover correctly.

“Pep prefers to speak face to face to the players so that would be me dealing with it (in terms of a pre match message). The form and content is his work. We’re not doing a video conference because he doesn’t want that.

“He wants face to face (contact) and he’s in the messages that are going to be relayed.”

And asked specifically what his own message to the players would be, Lillo added: “There’s still a few training sessions. Sometimes it’s about the feeling you have in regards to the rival and regards to the team.

“Pep has been doing his work and we’ll be talking about it. No problem. Whatever he says his input will be what happens.”

Lillo also added that Bernardo Silva was expected to be fit and is available for the trip to tackle the Blades.

The Portuguese attacking midfielder, who has missed City’s last two games through illness, has returned to training and back in contention.

And having signed a new contract extension that will keep him at City until 2026, Lillo said Bernardo was ready to return.

“Perhaps it’s a question more for the doctor but he has trained fully normal. I don’t think he’s ill at all and is good to go.”

Sheff Utd v City

You can follow all the build-up to the clash on the official Man City app with live updates starting at 12:00 (UK) on our Matchday Centre and that will continue until the game’s completion, as well as all the best post-match reaction.

Our Matchday Live programme will begin just before the teams are announced at around 13:00 (UK).

This weekend’s special guests Shaun Goater, Gareth Taylor and Keith Curle will join Natalie Pike in the studio to provide City-centric analysis before, during and after the match.


The guests will also answer viewer questions throughout the broadcast, with audience participation actively encouraged on the show.

To get in touch send a Whatsapp to: +447537186538.

During the game you can listen to live audio commentary from Alistair Mann and Andy Morrison while our text commentary continues.

On top of that, we’ll have post-match reaction from the assistant manager and the players available shortly after the final whistle.

Short highlights will be available at 17:45 (UK), with extended highlights and the full-match replay, available on CITY+ and Recast, accessible from midnight.