Tired City in ‘big, big trouble’ due to injuries – Pep

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admitted his team are tired, saying they are in “big, big, trouble” due to their current list of injuries.

As the club chases a second straight treble of major trophies, City midfielder Rodri pleaded for a rest following their 3-3 draw with Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal on Tuesday.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, NWSL more (U.S.)

“Take a look at our games and you realise,” Guardiola told a news conference Friday on Rodri’s comments. “It is simple. He is so important for the quality he gives us. But if you have a player that doesn’t want to play, he won’t play.

“I need to rest the centre halves also but in [England’s] friendly games, [John Stones and Kyle Walker] got injured so they get cannot rest. We are in big, big trouble.

“I had the feeling we were tired in the last games. We will decide tomorrow what we have to do,” he added ahead of City hosting struggling Luton Town on Saturday.

Third-placed City, who have 70 points with seven games remaining and zero margin for error, can climb atop of the table on Saturday and crank up the pressure on Arsenal and Liverpool who share the points lead on 71.

Guardiola was unable to provide an update on the fitness of Nathan Aké, Phil Foden and Walker on Friday. Foden was forced off late in Tuesday’s draw in Madrid, while Ake and Walker were already sidelined with injuries.

“We’re training this afternoon and then we’ll know better how they feel,” he said.

Brazil goalkeeper Éderson is fully fit and should reclaim his starting spot on Saturday from Stefan Ortega.

City striker Erling Haaland tops the league’s goalscoring charts with 19, and Guardiola was asked what more his prolific scorer needs to do to win the Ballon d’Or this season after he finished runner-up to Lionel Messi in 2023.

“He needs to play more minutes, to learn from what you have to do,” Guardiola said. “But the target is not the Ballon d’Or, the target is to win trophies and he did. Would we have won five trophies last year without him? Not a chance.

“It’s not about Erling or any other player. Until you retire, you can [always] be better.”

City edged 18th-placed Luton Town 2-1 at Kenilworth Road in December, but dispatched the struggling side from the FA Cup with a 6-2 fifth-round rout in February.

Following their Champions League quarterfinal second leg on Wednesday at the Etihad Stadium, City travel to Wembley three days later to face Chelsea in their FA Cup semifinal.

Information from Reuters contributed to this report.

Leave a Comment