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Guardiola: Premier League finale perfect Champions League preparation

Guardiola: Premier League finale perfect Champions League preparation
Pep Guardiola believes Sunday’s visit of Everton provides the perfect preparation for next weekend’s Champions League Final.

City welcome the Toffees to the Etihad Stadium in the final league game of the 2020/21 campaign, having secured our fifth Premier League title.

Although the Premier League Champions are yet to lift the trophy – and will do after Sunday’s fixture – attentions are already turning to Saturday’s eagerly-awaited European clash with familiar foe Chelsea.

And Guardiola believes that the test of facing Carlo Ancelotti’s side, in addition to the valuable lessons learned from our previously challenging fixtures against Newcastle and Brighton and Hove Albion, will stand his side in good stead for the trip to Porto.

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“When you arrive in the Final of the Champions League, it’s an incredible success,” he declared.

“It helps to win the Premier League and Carabao Cup. It will be a good season.

“When you arrive at the end [of the season] in the semi-final of the FA Cup, Final of the Carabao Cup and win the Premier League, it’s nice but of course, it’s not enough right now.

“I have an incredibly good feeling we’ll do well and play a good game in the Final. Sunday is good preparation for that.

“It’s tough for us in these three games when we have already qualified for the Champions League and have won the Premier League to stay focused in this competition.

“The games against Newcastle and Brighton help us understand how difficult it is to win the Premier League.

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“Sometimes, I love to live these defeats and realise what we’ve done: winning 24 games in a row in all competitions is amazing.

“I have a feeling we will arrive (in the Final) in the correct time to compete and enjoy the moment. It’s an honour to be there and we’re incredibly satisfied to be the first team in more than a Century of this Club to be the first there.

“We will try to enjoy but at the same time, be as competitive as possible to win the title.”

Asked when he will inform his players of his selection for the Champions League Final, Guardiola said only time will tell.

“It depends on my feeling,” he explained. “Sometimes, I give it on the day – one hour and half before; sometimes, two days.

“I have already decided many things in the last few days. I have a few doubts.

“In the Champions League, like all around the world – except in the UK – you have to do five or six substitutions so everybody will be part of this.

“We arrive to the Final to the last battle. I am going to choose the guys but we arrived here all together. That’s the reality.

“In the way we played this season, we were all together. Now, in the final battle for this specific game – for the way we want to play – I need specific players; I will choose the specific qualities, skills and mentalities to play this game.”

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