After back to back cup fixtures, Manchester City return to Premier League action as they welcome Brighton to the Etihad Stadium. The Blues have won their last six games in all competitions and it’s a run they’ll want to keep going and push up the league.
Here’s what Pep Guardiola had to say when he faced the media before this one…
Sergio Agüero still has to quarantine
After being promised we’d see the Argentine in action at the weekend, Sergio Agüero found out he had to self-isolate after a close contact had tested positive for COVID-19. Pep Guardiola has confirmed that period of time is nine or ten days.
Other injury concerns…
Despite the majority of the squad that was hit with COVID-19 returning, Manchester City still have some injury concerns. Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Aké are still out and recovering from their latest knocks and Cole Palmer is still self isolating.
Thankfully though, Raheem Sterling has been passed fit for tomorrows game.
Guardiola ‘delighted’ with Foden’s behaviour
He’s had to bide his time, but it’s finally looking like Phil Foden’s patience has paid off. With a solid run in the side, the 20-year-old is performing to a tremendous level and Pep Guardiola is so impressed with his behaviour.
“He’s playing like he always has – high standards in all departments. There are still margins to improve but from day one I am delighted about his behaviour. The quality will do the rest…”
Pep on Potter and Brighton
Wednesday’s opposition are a tough task. Despite struggling as of late, the quality Graham Potter’s side brings to the table is undeniable. Pep Guardiola is clearly a big fan:
“They are a joy to watch/analyse. When you see them, you are concerned of the quality. I said to the players that we will have to be at a high standard to compete against them.”
“They have better stats in all departments except maybe the final third but what they create and how few they concede. I am a big fan of Graham Potter. Everyone plays in their position and the ball comes, the courage to play everywhere.”
“I like a lot what they play and it will be a good test tomorrow after a lot of games for everyone. That is my only concern.”
Cancelo settled in Manchester
Seemingly castaway full-back Joao Cancelo has been one of the club’s best performers so far this season. Pep Guardiola has admitted that the Portuguese international struggled to find his place in the side, but is now playing ‘outstanding’.
“He was confused in the beginning – he expected something that we could not offer him but he’s a nice guy with a great heart. He’s a guy whose physicality is incredible, he could play again the day after a game and this is so important.”
“Last season he struggled a bit with a new club/ideas but he has had more time and he is playing good. He was tired in the last game but hopefully tomorrow if he tries to play he can be better than the first 45 against Birmingham but was outstanding…”
He also praised the versatility the 26-year-old possesses:
“Aleks can play in his position too and Benjamin/Kyle can play in different oppositions but it depends on the opponent. I have to know if he can do it for his qualities. This alternative he can give us as a team is so important.”
Praise for Bernardo
On the other end of the scale, Bernardo Silva has faced some criticism this season for some lacklustre performances. But in the past few weeks, the midfielder has reminded us just what he can do – and Guardiola has seen that:
“Bernardo is so intelligent, can play everywhere. He understands the game perfectly, knows exactly what he has to do and where to play so there are no doubts. He’s back and I’m incredibly delighted for the two goals he scored. We need him…”
The results have to continue…
Pep Guardiola, once again, has stressed the importance that if the results don’t continue, the performance of the team will not matter. He admits however that post-West Brom, he’s been really happy with how his side has been playing:
“After West Brom, our performance has been good but every game you have to regain your mood and solidarity and quality to win again. The consequence of the way we played is the results and we have to continue.”
“There isn’t much time to think about what is going to happen – the schedule in January and February is so busy but is good to try to do it again. Momentum arrives and disappears in one instant but the truth is that we cannot forget that the teams we beat.”
“Especially in the Premier League and Carabao Cup – we did it well but tomorrow it can disappear so you have to do it again. We are getting results and especially for the way we are playing.”
Follow us on Twitter for live match coverage: @City_Xtra