Guardiola bemoans ‘terrible’ January schedule and admits he would rather not face ‘aggressive’ Leeds

Pep Guardiola has described Manchester City’s January fixture schedule as ‘terrible’, while admitting he would rather not be facing Leeds this evening.

City take the short trip across the Pennines to take on Jesse Marsch’s side, who despite sitting just two points off the relegation zone, have proven to be tough opponents this season.


Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of this evening’s game, Pep Guardiola highlighted the difficulties that his side will face, and said that the Yorkshire club are statistically the most aggressive side in the division.

“Against Brentford – when you [have to] play 10 balls against Toney – it is difficult to win the game – we cannot control the long balls, we cannot control the transitions and we were completely [in trouble].

“I would have preferred another opponent than Leeds at this moment after the World Cup. They are the most aggressive team in the Premier League, statistically. They don’t give you time to think and you have to be precise.

“After our defeat against Brentford, and with how strong Arsenal are, as well as the opponents who [can] come from behind, we have to be alert and careful, because if the distance is bigger, it will be so difficult to catch them.”

This will be City’s second game since the end of the World Cup, the Citizens beating Liverpool 3-2 in an entertaining Carabao Cup tie last week, though the Catalan wasn’t concerned at his side conceding chances to the Reds.

“You cannot think against Liverpool you are not going to concede chances – in the transitions they are a fantastic team,” he said. “I don’t think there is a team in the world that I am [more impressed with] – every game is completely different and against them we defend really, really well.”

City play Everton on New Year’s Eve, before a further six games against in January, including facing Chelsea twice, Manchester United and Spurs.

“Our schedule in January is terrible in terms of the amount of games and the quality of the opponents. We have to restart. This is what we have done against Liverpool and hopefully we can continue.”

Read – Heroes and Villains: Premier League Boxing Day fixtures

See also – Premier League Team of the Week – Boxing Day

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