To Hull and back: Guardiola cancels City's Christmas
"They gave me good advice about what it means to play on Boxing Day at Hull City," said the Etihad boss after consultation with his players on festive fixtures.
Pep Guardiola is to work his players on the training pitch over the festive period as he prepares for his first taste of Britain's Christmas fixture pile-up in Manchester City's Premier League trip to rock-bottom Hull.
Guardiola, whose side are third and trail leaders Chelsea by seven points, said he consulted his players before taking the decision.
"We'll get a bus to Hull in the afternoon"
"They gave me good advice about what it means to play on Boxing Day at Hull City," he told a news conference on Friday. "We're going to train on Saturday and on the 25th, then get a bus in the afternoon to Hull. We're going to prepare like it's not Christmas."
Captain Vincent Kompany, who has not played since the middle of November, is still out with a knee injury while defender Pablo Zabaleta faces a late fitness test after picking up a knock in the 2-1 win over Arsenal.
Striker Sergio Agüero will serve the last game of a four-match suspension but midfielder Fernandinho has completed a three-match ban.
"What I have learned in my short time here is the gap between the first 10 teams and last 10 is not that big," Guardiola said.
"Other people said before I came here how complicated all the games are, so I am not expecting easy games. We have to be prepared. It's my first year here. Hull started quite well. Of course, the situation is not good but I saw many, many games and they are a special team."
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