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Guardiola faces another balancing act in final league match against Brentford

Guardiola faces another balancing act in final league match against Brentford

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester City v Chelsea - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - May 21, 2023 Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith/File Photo

MANCHESTER, England: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola faces another careful balancing act in his team's quest for the treble, saying he will wait until Saturday before deciding who will play in their virtually meaningless Premier League final game on Sunday (May 28).

City secured their third consecutive Premier League title last week, but have two huge games upcoming in the FA Cup final on June 3 and Champions League final on Jun 10.

With nothing on the line, Guardiola made nine changes for last Sunday's win over Chelsea, and another six against Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday. It could be more of the same on Sunday against Brentford.

When asked if he knows who he might have available, the manager said: "Today no, but some (players are) half and half.

"It's getting better. Some of them. We'll see (Saturday), we're training (Saturday) afternoon and decide how they feel. We need to keep our rhythm before the long week."

However, Guardiola dispelled any notion that City would be taking it easy when they travel to London.

"We are going to play the game as seriously as possible," he said.

"It depends on how the players feel. We don't want to take a risk. If players are available, we take the team to win the game."

Former Barcelona manager Guardiola also spoke out about the racism suffered by Real Madrid and Brazil international Vinicius Jr recently, saying he is not optimistic La Liga will change, and that they could learn from the Premier League.

"They should (learn)," the Spanish manager said. "Here they are so strict, they know what they have to do.

"This is a problem everywhere, thinking that we are better than our neighbours, we are better than the other one," he added.

"We need to accept the diversity like a human being, but right now, we are far away from that. Hopefully we can get better in Spain but I'm not optimistic."

Following the victory over Chelsea and emotional trophy presentation at the Etihad, Guardiola gave his players two days off so they could have the time to physically rest and mentally disengage, especially with such important games looming.

"In that moment, we need to disconnect even for our physios and doctors and cooks," he said. "They work incredibly hard during this period. They are here 10 hours working with the players, when you win all the titles you are so demanding.

"That's why, go with your families, if the weather is shining play golf, walk, do whatever you want."

Source: Reuters


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