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Manchester City Coach Pep Guardiola Fuming Ahead of Match Against Arsenal

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola is furious about the match schedule for the next 21 days. This does not bode well for the injury-prone Erling Braut Haaland.

Etihad Stadium stands like an oasis on the last Sunday of March, hosting a Premier League showdown between Manchester City and Arsenal. Inside the stadium, however, tensions are high.

Once again, the issue at hand is the demanding match schedule and its heavy toll on players. Over the next 21 days, Manchester City is set to play seven games, which means a match every third day.

One might argue that City has placed itself in this predicament by remaining active in the Champions League and FA Cup, alongside the Premier League.

On Wednesday, the team faces Aston Villa. By Saturday, they’re up against Crystal Palace with a 1:30 pm kickoff at Selhurst Park. Just three days later, on the following Tuesday, they’ll clash with Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals.

“Real Madrid plays this weekend (against Athletic Bilbao today). Then they have nine days to prepare for our match. Nine days! I think, ‘Just give us one more day to rest’,” Guardiola says, according to Dagbladet.

He directs his frustration towards the FA and Premier League organizations, accusing them of failing to support English teams’ success in European competitions.

“In France, Paris Saint-Germain doesn’t play between their two quarter-final matches. They have time to arrange it that way. In Portugal, they often play on Fridays before their Champions League matches the following week,” Guardiola points out.

“I’ve shared my opinion. But forget it. UEFA has its business. FIFA has its business. And the TV companies have theirs. Other clubs aren’t in a situation where they have to play every third day. But it’s always been like this for us,” he says.

“When we play a quarter-final on Wednesday, there’s always another match by Saturday. Why do we always have to play the FA Cup on Saturday and not Sunday? One day makes a lot of difference at this point in the season.”

The rematch against Real Madrid is scheduled for April 17th. Three days later, on Saturday, April 20th, they face Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. The second semi-final, Coventry versus Manchester United, plays on Sunday. This is where Guardiola believes the days should have been swapped.

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