Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola faces yet another delicate balancing act as his side seek to win three titles this season, saying he will wait until the end of Saturday before deciding who will play Sunday’s final Premier League game.
City won the Premier League title for the third time in a row last week, but it has two important matches remaining in the FA Cup Final on the third of next June and the Champions League final one week later.
With nothing at stake, Guardiola made nine changes to the squad that beat Chelsea last Sunday and another six against Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday. The same could happen on Sunday against Brentford.
When asked if he knew who would be available for the match, the Spanish coach said: Some (players) are not clear. It’s getting better and we’ll see today and after training we’ll decide how they feel. We need to keep our rhythm up before a long week.
However, Guardiola dispelled any intention of leniency at hosts Brentford. He said: We will play the match as seriously as possible. It depends on the feeling of the players. We don’t want to take risks. If players are available we will choose a lineup to win the match.
The former Barcelona coach also spoke about the racism suffered by Real Madrid winger and Brazilian Vinicius Junior recently, saying that he was not optimistic that the Spanish League would change, and that they could learn from the English Premier League.
He added: They must (learn). They are very strict here, and they know what they have to do. This is a problem everywhere and some people think we are better than our neighbours, we are better than the other.
“We need to accept diversity as human beings, but at the moment we are far from that. I hope we can improve in Spain but I’m not optimistic.”
After defeating Chelsea and receiving the League Cup at the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola gave his players two days off so that they could have time to rest physically and mentally, especially with the approach of such important matches.