Men's Team

Guardiola: We must enjoy the moment this weekend

Pep Guardiola has called on City players and fans to embrace the pressure that comes with being just one win away from another Premier League title.

City welcome Aston Villa to a sold out Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon knowing that another three points will crown us champions of England for the fourth time in five seasons.

While many may expect it to be a tense affair, Pep wants his players to focus entirely on their plans to beat Villa and not to look too far ahead.

Speaking in his press conference on Friday afternoon, the boss encouraged his players to express themselves as they usually would.

City v Aston Villa | Match Preview

"We cannot control it, it’s just a football game" he said.

"Don’t think about the consequences of if we win or not. Think about what we have to do to beat Aston Villa.

"Are they going to play with Ings and Watkins or just with Watkins? Play with a holding midfielder or not? Digne on the outside or inside? This is what we have to handle.

"We have to be anxious? No, go there to try to enjoy the moment. If we are struggling, let’s go again and try to enjoy it.

"From my experience, that’s the best way to approach this situation."

Should City win on Sunday, it will be our sixth title in 11 seasons. The first of those came just over ten years ago through Sergio Aguero's injury time winner against QPR.

When asked whether he would welcome similar dramatic circumstances this weekend, Pep again urged his players to remain composed no matter what happens on the field.

He said: "You have to expect something but we know we can react the best way possible.

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"It's difficult to control your emotions when you know what you are playing for. The players are human beings but it’s football, when you think that it is over it is not over.

"We must do exactly what we have done in the last month. The importance is unnecessary to tell them. They know it, they feel it."

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Jack Grealish faces his old side for just the second time since his move to City last summer and could end the day with his first Premier League winners medal.

While Pep expects our England international to be enthusiastic about the prospect of silverware, he insisted that it isn't the only barometer of success in a player's career.

"He helped Villa to be promoted and after remain in the Premier League but he has never won a Premier League, he must be so excited.

"My advice to him is to try to be happy as possible playing football. That is most important.

"This season we are the champions and someone has to take us on, this is new for him. If we win, we will defend the title in every single game next season."

City v Villa

As always, the best way to keep up with City's Premier League meeting with Aston Villa at 16:00 (UK) on Sunday is through the Man City app.

There we will have minute-by-minute updates of all the key moments during the day via our Matchday Centre, that will start at 14:00.

Then, at 14:45 our Matchday Live programme will begin, giving you a City-centric build-up to the final day of the Premier League season.

And through the 90 minutes, Alistair Mann will provide the in-play commentary - all contained within the Matchday Centre.

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