Guardiola fears City stars in danger over fixture pile-up

Danny Woods
January 13, 2018

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne was in the XI for Tuesday night's 3-1 Premier League victory over Watford.

"Here in England, we don't protect the players and that is a big mistake..."

It is about time the Premier League reviewed such challenges.

He said: "The Premier League isn't decided yet, but we are in a position of great strength to win it".

Guardiola was given an early headache as Gabriel Jesus was taken off in tears after suffering a knee injury, and De Bruyne was taken off in injury time following Puncheon's heavy tackle.

"There is a flaw in Jose Mourinho's argument that the difference between Manchester United and Manchester City is money", the Sky Sports man told The Daily Telegraph.

The hosts jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first minute on a play that began with Silva's ball to Leroy Sane and ended with Raheem Sterling's 18th goal of the campaign. "They must protect the players", Guardiola said. It's not basketball or tennis, the players need recovery.

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Still, though, City's Pep Guardiola was not in the mood to celebrate as he chose the aftermath of City's fourth game in 11 days to lead a chorus of complaints from managers about the congested festive fixture list.

The fans and TV companies may love it, but Guardiola believes cramming so many games in over Christmas and New Year is putting players at risk.

"And maybe Kyle will be out but you see how many players have got muscular problems in that period". We can get a lot of wins in a row, we can stay a lot of games without winning.

David Silva was also influential on his return to the side after missing four of the previous five games for personal reasons.

"You can see how essential David is to us but I don't know how long he will be here".

Guardiola said the issue has been of a family nature and he may have to miss more games because of it. He's free to stay or leave, it depends. "I have until 2020, I think - the truth is I hope to see out my contract and I'll try to do my best from here until the end of the season, and after that we will see what happens", he said. "I'm not saying change Boxing Day (December 26) but you can not play at midday at Selhurst Park, come back, celebrate New Year's Eve but are thinking about the game two days later", he said.

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