Manchester City will be ready for its Premier League game with Newcastle United on Saturday despite having played in the UEFA Super Cup in Athens on Wednesday, manager Pep Guardiola said.
After its penalty shootout win over Sevilla, the City manager sarcastically thanked the Premier League for arranging the Newcastle game on Saturday.
Yet he said his side would be ready for the match at the Etihad Stadium, despite obvious fatigue.
“Of course we are ready. We need these type of challenges. We face difficulties with the injuries we have, the calendar. This is the challenge we have, to take a step forward,” Guardiola told reporters on Friday.
“People went to sleep at 4am in Greece when they played at 10pm. Arrive, recover with 35 or 40 degrees in Greece. Come back, arrive here late, and then it’s this game, tomorrow’s game, today we cannot train,” the manager said.
“This is why we won. Because we overcome all the time this kind of position. All the time we have less time to recover between the games, not a problem,” the Spaniard added.
Kevin De Bruyne is already a long-term absence after his hamstring injury during City’s 3-0 win over Burnley last Friday. Guardiola also has other injury worries.
Ruben Dias suffered a concussion in training before its opening league game which ruled him out for seven days. John Stones also missed that game and the Super Cup with a hip problem.
“Maybe Ruben (Dias) will play. John (Stones) is out. Last training he didn’t feel comfortable, I don’t know how long that will be,” the manager confirmed.
City’s opponent Newcastle began the season with an impressive 5-1 win over Aston Villa last Saturday. Guardiola was full of praise for the work Newcastle manager Eddie Howe has done at the club.
“Eddie Howe has built a fantastic, fantastic team for many reasons, in build-up, in transitions and ball possession. They control everything and it will be a massive test for us.”
Manchester City and Newcastle both opened the season with three points, and Newcastle is top of the Premier League on goal difference.
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