Pep Guardiola believes his players that competed at the World Cup in Qatar will be in a better shape physically than those who weren’t representing their respective nations at the tournament.
Manchester City had the most players from a Premier League club competing in the Middle East and although the Spaniard recently claimed that he had ‘no players’ for tonight’s League Cup clash with Liverpool, he’s somewhat contradicted himself with his latest claim.
“I had a feeling that the players in the World Cup are in a better condition than the players who are here, Sergio, Cole, Riyad, Erling, they miss a little bit, the players who didn’t go lack the rhythm,” said the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager (via Liverpool World). “Those coming back have competed and trained every day, they keep the rhythm and we had holidays.
“Step by step people come back, today come back six players. First time, we are happy they are back, in general play really well. They play a unique experience. Let them try to come back as soon as possible. Work for the team and maybe four years they live another experience.”
The likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Kyle Walker and John Stones were some of the City stars to compete at the World Cup but they’ve had more than enough time to recover and return to club training to ensure they’re available tonight.
It appears that Guardiola enjoys playing mind games – after spending billions on strengthening his options and ultimately signing whatever players he wants, he still somehow finds a way to complain about his squad and the players he has available.
Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, will have the likes of Mo Salah, Darwin Nunez and Bobby Firmino to call upon at the Etihad while Netherlands skipper Virgil van Dijk is expected to be rested as we begin our defence of the League Cup.
We’re hoping for a strong performance to get the second half of our campaign off to the perfect start.