Liverpool and Manchester City were drawn against each other in what will certainly be the tie of the round for the Carabao Cup and Pep Guardiola has outlined the difficulties of lining a squad up just days after the World Cup final.
Speaking with the media before his team’s game with Brentford, the Spaniard was asked how he can prepare to face the Reds in such a short turnaround and said: “He [Klopp] is going to play at left-back and I’m going to play as a holding midfielder, this is my strategy. I don’t know how many players Liverpool will have, I don’t know how many players we will have.
“I know that Riyad [Mahrez], Erling [Haaland], Sergio [Gomez], Rico [Lewis] and the rest of the people don’t go through to the World Cup, like I said before some will get through a stage [in the World Cup] and some won’t get through a stage, last 16, quarter finals and so it depends on that.”
The former Barcelona boss went on to explain how it all depends on what round his players are knocked out of the tournament; if they are out in the group stage then they should be able to play against Jurgen Klopp’s side but anything else is a mystery.
It’s such an unprecedented situation for both teams and for football around the world, as players return and clubs have to balance their fitness and morale but also need to get right back into business days after the end of the tournament.
As much as it would be good to see both managers starting the game at the Etihad, it’s probably better that Andy Robertson takes his position at left-back for the League Cup clash.
You can watch Guardiola’s thoughts on squad fitness ahead of the game with Liverpool (from 5:36) via Football content on YouTube: