Pep Guardiola says Man City in 'big trouble' with subtle dig at England boss Gareth Southgate

Pep Guardiola says Man City in 'big trouble' with subtle dig at England boss Gareth Southgate

WATCH NOW: Sports round-up as Pep Guardiola says Man City in big trouble

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 12/04/2024

- 13:25

The Spaniard is aiming to lead his team to another historic trophy-laden season

Pep Guardiola claims Manchester City are in 'big, big trouble' fitness-wise as they aim to win back-to-back trebles this season.

The Spaniard has taken a thinly-veiled dig at Gareth Southgate after two of his players got injured in England's recent friendlies.

City are third in the Premier League, just one point behind leaders Arsenal, with seven games of the season remaining.

They are also midway through their Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid, with the tie level at 3-3, as well as facing Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final next weekend.

Gareth Southgate and Pep Guardiola

Man City boss Pep Guardiola has taken a subtle dig at England manager Gareth Southgate

Getty/Sky Sports

City have been without Kyle Walker since he suffered a hamstring injury in England's friendly against Brazil.

John Stones picked up an issue in the following game against Belgium but has since returned, starting at the Bernabeu on Tuesday.

Nathan Ake has missed the last couple of games, while Phil Foden is also struggling with a dead leg suffered in Madrid.

Guardiola was asked at his press conference on Friday whether he feels the need to rest Rodri.

He claimed there are other positions he wants to rotate in but cannot because of the injuries suffered in the recent international friendlies.

Southgate picked strong starting XIs for both games at Wembley, choosing not to rest players who are competing on multiple fronts at club level.

Guardiola said: "Take a look at our games and you realise. It is simple.

"[Rodri] 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 too but in [England's] friendly games, [Stones and 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."

City played out a dramatic match against Real, where they led on two occasions before being pegged back.

But Guardiola wants focus to be on the Premier League, with Luton visiting the Etihad on Saturday.


Kyle Walker

Man City have been without Kyle Walker since he got injured in an England friendly


He added: "We have to [focus], the Premier league so important.

"It's 11 months we've been fighting for the title, we know what position we are in."

Guardiola also confirmed that Ederson is in line to return from injury on Saturday after he was an unnused substitute in midweek.

He said: "No, [Ederson] is the first choice. He was ready to play against Madrid and [will be] tomorrow, and the next game. We make the decision for many reasons."

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola says Man City are in 'big, big trouble' fitness-wise


Meanwhile, Guardiola has outlined what Erling Haaland needs to do to win the Ballon d'Or in the future.

He said: "He needs to play more minutes, to learn from what you have to do.

"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."

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