Manchester City play their first match of the season at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday against a Huddersfield Town side that gave them some problems last season, narrowly losing at the Etihad and holding the champions to a draw at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Ahead of his latest tactical battle with David Wagner, Pep Guardiola spoke to the media at the CFA this afternoon and answered their questions.
Of course, the big story of the day is that Kevin De Bruyne will be out for ‘around three months’ per the club statement (although it could have been so much worse!). Pep suggested a lack of rest may have had an effect on Kevin.
“De Bruyne will be out for 2 1/2 to 3 months,” Pep said. “It’s as part of the game. We don’t know if his short summer break was a factor. Nobody knows. These things can happen when you get no summer break.
“For De Bruyne and his family it is hard but we accept it. Human beings have a limit and these things happen. He will be a big miss.
“Last season, in terms of injuries, was incredible we have best staff in England.”
In better news, David Silva is fit and ready to return against Huddersfield on Sunday.
“David Silva trained with us in the last few sessions and trained good. Last week he wasn’t fit. He had a problem with a leg.”
And on Silva’s decision to retire from international football…
“Silva decided to do that, big congratulations, a World Cup, over 100 apps, he decided because no one pushes him.
“He can rest a little bit more with his wife, family and little boy and train with us.”
Versatile Brazilian defender Danilo is another who has been out and while he won’t be fit for the weekend game, Pep suggested he is almost ready.
“He is running and getting better,” the Catalan said of Danilo without revealing a return date.
The new Amazon docuseries ‘All or Nothing: Manchester City’ is receiving great praise from those who have already started watching it, and Guardiola was asked to comment a little on it.
“We are not involved in what was put in the All or Nothing documentary. What happened in the moment or the training session, it’s an honest product. After a month we didn’t realise they were there.
“For us it’s good memories because it was a great season.”
With De Bruyne sidelined for months, an idea could have been to sign experienced Italian international Claudio Marchisio who left Juventus today. Guardiola categorically ruled that out and said any transfers would wait until at least January.
“Nope [on signing Marchisio]. In December we will see about the transfer window.”
The October trip to Tottenham is currently up in the air with Spurs’ new stadium delayed and Wembley booked up for an NFL game that day. The idea of reversing the fixtures has been suggested, but Pep isn’t keen on that and has a valid reason for it.
“Our last five games in the Premier League, four [would be] away. Maybe we’ll be playing for the Premier League, so…”
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