Manchester City host Manchester United tomorrow afternoon at the Etihad Stadium in what could be a momentous derby, with a win enough to secure the Premier League title for the Blues.
Neighbours United and their wily coach Jose Mourinho will want to delay the party a while longer, and Pep Guardiola will have to much to think about leading in, particularly after the midweek defeat to Liverpool.
The Catalan addressed the media on Friday lunchtime at the CFA to answer questions ahead of tomorrow’s Manchester derby.
Sergio Aguero remains uncertain for the derby and Pep said he couldn’t confirm if the Argentine will be available until after today’s training session.
“I don’t know right now,” Guardiola told the assembled press. “We have training this afternoon and we are going to see his physical condition.”
More big games are on the horizon, something Pep is conscious of with his team selection.
“We have three massive games coming up – United, Liverpool and Spurs – we have to see the players condition. We have training later and we will see later. We will prepare the team to win the game.”
As he often does, Guardiola called for focus despite the Premier League trophy being so, so close.
“We are close to being champions. It’s a coincidence because it’s the derby but it doesn’t matter. We just have to be focused on what we have to do to win the game.”
The City boss called on fans to be the 12th man tomorrow, particularly given that United will be fully rested compared to City.
“We would like to feel that [atmosphere], support those guys because they deserve it,” said Pep. “We defend the badge, the club the best way possible.
“We’re so tired because United rested all week, that’s why it’ll be so important in the bad moments to feel our supporters are there.”
And how about Benjamin Mendy? It looks likely that we’ll see the sociable Frenchman very soon.
“Everything is much, much better [with Mendy]. He’s training regularly.”
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