Men's Team

Pep braced for "incredibly tough" decision

Pep Guardiola admits picking the starting XI and those on the bench for the Champions League final will be one of the hardest decisions he has had to make since becoming City boss.

The Catalan has regularly rotated his squad this season to great effect, often making five or six changes per game.

In a fortnight, City will play in arguably the Club’s biggest ever game and while Pep admits he has an inkling to what the team will be, he hasn’t settled on a definitive line-up or tactics.

“I have an idea,” he said.

“I know how we play, but I have two options, we will see. I am not clear so these three games will tell me about their momentum and the chances they have to play.

“I am pretty sure we have to try to be prepared to compete in the best possible condition against Chelsea,

“We cannot arrive today and say we need to play, that’s too late. We have to compete and try to win the final from now on.”

Asked whether players can still fight their way into the Champions League final reckoning, Pep revealed that everyone still has a chance.

“They want it,” he said.  They will kill me to play, I know it. It’s nice and everyone can do it. That’s all.

“It will be an incredibly tough decision for me, but I have to analyse the opponent and we will try.


“It’s tough in a normal game to tell players they aren’t playing, so, can you imagine Champions League final?

“But the players we have a good relationship and it’s a business, I’m sorry.

“The players follow the manager because you win. If you don’t win they leave you alone except a few exceptions.

“That depends on personality. That’s why today I observe the next few games and again in training.

“They will do everything to try to win it, I know it but I have to see the way I want to play and defend, the mentality of the players, the guys who handle the pressure and in that moment try to be honest with myself and the team and do the best selection possible knowing we have five substitutions available in the final.

“Everyone has to be ready because in a final many things can change or happen.”

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