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Pep Guardiola: Schedule problematic for Man City

Guardiola, who was at Camp Nou for El Clásico on Sunday night, says his City team will need to handle the schedule better.

Soccer Football - FA Cup - Quarter-Final - Manchester City v Burnley - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - March 18, 2023 Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne shakes hands with manager Pep Guardiola after being substituted Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff
JASON CAIRNDUFFAction Images via Reuters

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola feels the scheduling of his side’s games in mid-April, close to crucial Champions League and Premier League fixtures, has been problematic for his side.

The FA Cup semi-finals will be played in Wembley on 22/23 April, just days after the Champions League quarter-final tie with Bayern Munich and Guardiola admits preparations could be difficult.

The former Barcelona coach, who was at Camp Nou for El Clásico on Sunday night, says his City team will need to handle the schedule better to avoid another FA Cup semi-final struggle.

“The worst game we play is always the semi-final of FA Cup at Wembley. Never we were there,” he said.

“Our performances were really poor every time. Even the year we won we struggled, against Brighton, not really good.

Guardiola at Camp Nou for El Clásico on Sunday.
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Guardiola at Camp Nou for El Clásico on Sunday.JOAN M. BASCUDiarioAS

FA Cup struggles for City

Of their previous semi-finals, City made it through in 2019 - and went on to win the competition - but they were beaten in the other four.

He continued: “Hopefully one year we can play the semi-finals here in Manchester - but the last years always before or after the Champions League quarter-final we travelled.

“We were not ready, tired, and hopefully this year we can prepare a bit better. The final of FA Cup is a dream to play and this season we are going to try.”

City vs Bayern

City play the second leg of their Champions League tie against Bayern at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Wednesday 19 April, and Guardiola would naturally prefer to have the Sunday slot for their FA Cup semi-final with Sheffield United on the weekend of 22-23.

“If the draw is Saturday, we play Saturday. We have to prepare better. To play the semi-finals, you have to be ready. It’s so important,” he added.


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