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“No sense!” – Pep Guardiola SLAMS Manchester City fixture scheduling with impassioned rant



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has slammed the Premier League and Football Association regarding the recent scheduling of fixtures.

The Sky Blues return to Premier League action against Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon, the first of at least 10 matches before the end of April across three different competitions.

Manchester City remain on the quest to retain last season’s historic treble, with upcoming an UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid and Emirates FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley Stadium.

Just one point separates Arsenal, Liverpool and City in the Premier League title race, although Pep Guardiola’s side are the only club to be still be competing on three fronts, after both Liverpool and Arsenal were knocked-out of the FA Cup.

City, who played 61 matches last season, have already featured in 45 games during the current campaign, including traveling to Saudi Arabia for the FIFA Club World Cup in December and to Greece for the UEFA Super Cup in August.

The Cityzens face three quick-fire Premier League games in less than seven days upon returning from the international break, with Arsenal and Aston Villa both visiting the Etihad Stadium before a 12:30pm kick-off at Selhurst Park next Saturday.

As well as the hectic schedule, Manchester City were surprisingly selected to play Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday 20th April and Brighton on Thursday 25th April, further infuriating Guardiola.

The 53-year-old, who is additionally contending with a series of major injury blows after both Kyle Walker and John Stones suffered muscular injuries for England during friendlies, has slammed the authorities for their recent scheduling of matches.

“We play Wednesday against (Real) Madrid in the second-leg here. After, we can play Saturday or Sunday. Coventry, (Manchester) United, Chelsea; they are on holidays for one week. Why do we play on Saturday?

“Every year we play on Saturday. Why don’t they give us one more day when they don’t play, Coventry don’t play Champions League, Chelsea don’t play Champions League or Europa League, United don’t do it. Why don’t we play Sunday, broadcasters? Are we going to fight? The answer: I pay a lot of money. It’s right, so we play Saturday. No sense!

“And after we play Thursday, why don’t we play Wednesday? It’s Thursday and Sunday, why don’t we play Wednesday? ‘No but you qualified for the next round of the Champions League, and after you play Wednesday.’ Ah, OK. That’s good, that’s good. Just understand it from my point of view. Broadcasters have their own decisions, Premier League decisions, I have to defend my club.

“We play Saturday, of course. We will go to London to play Chelsea, Chelsea will not come here. We go to London, five hours, to go there. We will travel, no problem. We will go there. Because I have experience of that. We play quarter-finals many times in the last years; Wednesday, second-leg, and EVERY time play Saturday. ALL THE TIME.

“So we play Aston Villa at 20:15, playing 12:30 (against Crystal Palace) Saturday, 12:30! And after we go to Madrid on Tuesday, Madrid have nine days to prepare our game, nine days!

“Playing this weekend, until our game, no plays. And I would like to think, ‘Oh give me one more day’, because one more day the difference is a lot. But there’s no chance. That’s why you ask me about the calendar? I give my opinion, forget about it.

“UEFA has it’s own business, FIFA has it’s own business, and broadcasters have it’s own business, but I have my own business, and I defend my club. And my club is really tough; three days, three days, three days, three days, when the other clubs don’t have that situation.

“So when we’ve done it in the past, but the calendar has been always like that with us, always! Always they give us less days to recover, and we did it! We did it, but that is only when you have the whole squad. Unfortunately in the next days and weeks it cannot happen.”