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Man City ‘not ready’ for onslaught of games as Premier League returns, says Pep Guardiola

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he does not know how ready his players are for the restart of the Premier League and the flood of matches to come.

Second-placed City play Arsenal, managed by Guardiola’s former assistant Mikel Arteta, at the Etihad on Wednesday in the top flight’s second game back.

City then host Burnley next Monday, travel down to Chelsea the following Thursday, and across to Newcastle United on the Sunday.


“The way we are right now … we don’t know,” Guardiola told reporters on a Zoom call. “If you ask me how is the team, I don’t know. Tomorrow we will see how is the level of the team.

“I think we are ready to play one game. But three days after another one and four days after another one. We are not ready, not just Man City, all teams.”

Guardiola said his players were in good shape, but expressed concern that they only had three weeks of group training to get ready after months without a match. Clubs in Germany and Spain had five or six.

“All Premier League teams have three – we know it is not enough, but it is what it is,” said Guardiola.

Guardiola will be facing an old friend in Arteta and said he hoped he would have time to catch up with his compatriot after the match.

Both have suffered over the past months, with Guardiola losing his mother to the Covid-19 pandemic while Arteta caught the disease himself and had to self-isolate.

“So excited to see him … He knows absolutely everything of us, he was an incredibly important part of our success in the last years, he helped us to be who we are,” said Guardiola.

“We sent a message about one hour and a half ago … It was about the wine we are going to drink after the game if social distance allows.”

Reuters

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