Belfast Telegraph

Guardiola hints at opposition to Tottenham fixture switch

There is uncertainty over where City’s scheduled away clash with Spurs on October 28 will take place.

Pep Guardiola has suggested Manchester City would be reluctant to swap venues for their two Premier League fixtures against Tottenham this season.

There is uncertainty over where City’s scheduled away clash with Spurs on October 28 will take place because the club’s new stadium may not be open and Wembley is booked for an NFL game.

An alternative could be to reverse fixtures with City and play at the Etihad Stadium with Spurs then hosting the champions on April 20 in return.

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The completion of Tottenham’s new stadium has been delayed (Steven Paston/PA)

But as that would leave City playing only once at home in their final five matches, Guardiola is not keen.

Speaking at a press conference, the City boss said: “We want to help the Premier League.

“This can happen because they build an amazing stadium for Tottenham Hotspur, sometimes there are delays.

“We are going to adapt if we can adapt but of course we are going to think of ourselves as well.

“I don’t know. I can only say, when that happens, of the last five games four are away.”

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Pep Guardiola is not happy with the prospect of four away games in the last five Premier League matches of the season (Richard Sellers/PA)

Asked if that was a problem, Guardiola said: “I think so. When you are maybe playing for the Premier League, four games away is a little bit different.

“But I’m a manager for what happens on the pitch and that’s enough. In the end if Tottenham want to suggest something they’ll speak with our CEO and our people. They will decide the best for the Premier League, Tottenham and us.”

City suffered a blow this week with playmaker Kevin De Bruyne suffering a knee injury in training that will rule him out for around three months.

The Belgium international is set to miss City’s first four Champions League games as well as the Spurs clash and another potentially key game against Liverpool on October 7.

It also seems unlikely the 27-year-old will be fit for the first derby of the season against Manchester United on November 11.

Guardiola said: “He will be a big miss. Last season Kevin was outstanding and, of course, for him and his family you never want these long injuries.

“But you accept it. It’s part of the game, part of the amount of games and seasons, games and seasons (they play) and in the end the players fall down.

“Sometimes that is normal. They don’t rest. It was a tough season last season. They come back in a short recovery and we demand in the first moment, ‘come on let’s go’ because we are in the competition. Of course human beings have a limit and sometimes these things happen.”

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David Silva could be back for City (Nick Potts/PA)

On the positive side, fellow midfielder David Silva, who did not feature in last weekend’s season-opening win at Arsenal, could return against Huddersfield on Sunday.

Guardiola said: “He trained the last two or three training sessions. Last week he was not fit, he had a little problem in his leg, but he has been training good this week.”

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