Mens Team

Pep: "This will be one of our hardest games"

Pep Guardiola is expecting one of the toughest away tests of the season against Sheffield United on Saturday.

The Catalan believes the Blades’ position of second bottom with one point from a possible 18, doesn’t reflect their performances to date.

Far from it, in fact.

“I think Sheffield United is one of the strongest teams in the PL,” said Pep.

“The fact they are in the position they are in is an example of the strange world we are in right now. “

City edged both matches against the Blades last season – played within 23 days of each other – and Pep has seen enough of their team and manager to know they will soon start climbing the table.

“I am a big fan of Chris Wilder; of the way they play,” he said.

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“He is an incredible innovator; they have incredible spirit with how they defend.

“It is one of our most difficult games, but hopefully, we can recover our effort and energy from France.

“I am looking forward to the game. When I saw their games against Liverpool and Arsenal, the fact they couldn’t win showed how strange life around the world is at the moment.

“I am sure when they get in a good position they will show the way they play.”

Pep also was asked whether five subs could help clubs, particularly with the increased injuries many teams are currently dealing with - and whether an increase would be more advantageous to clubs with bigger squads?

“It is not about advantage or disadvantage,” he said.

“It is about taking care of the main reason we are in this business - the players.

"The five subs idea is to protect the players. The last 30 minutes of games is when the players who play every three days start to suffer.

“All around the world it is happening. In Spain, Germany and here, in the most demanding league, we cannot protect the players.

“We have 5% more muscular injuries than last season. Why? Because the players cannot recover.

“Why would we not do it? It makes no sense. The presidents, the directors, who are they to decide this? They need the managers or player to decide the subs. 

“I am not judging because we didn’t have this player or that.

“The lack of preparation. When you play the Community Shield, you have one week to the Premier League and the one week the second and third game.

“This year we all started and it was a game every three days.


“It is not about the results. It is to protect the players to not get injured. I am not talking about the results.

“I am talking about protecting the players so they can perform as well as possible for the people.

“If you are talking about the results, I would love to have had less preparation by beating Lyon and going to the semi-final or final.

"The normal preparation is six weeks, when that doesn’t happen the risk is injury."

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