Pep Guardiola spoke on Manchester City's squad availability amid a return to training for centre-backs Aymeric Laporte and John Stones, as well as touching on previous encounters with Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea side over the past few months. The Manchester City boss was also quizzed on international football topics such as the Brazilian FA's stance for the upcoming international break and how the domestic schedule will pan out with the mid-season World Cup in Qatar next season.
The standard of the Premier League was also a talking point for the Catalan, who spoke quite passionately about the quality and the standard of English football's top division.
Pep on the availability of returning players for the Chelsea game:
"We still have a few injuries. Some of them came back a little bit in training and we will decide if they can play or not - we need to see how they react, tomorrow we will see."
The boss on international issues - firstly the World Cup 2022, then the Brazilian FA:
"I didn't see the schedule for next season, the World Cup is in the middle, but I didn't see. I don't know the impact. All the teams are involved in European competition, Domestic competition. All these players. Just adapt, train as best as possible, don't get injured. Every energy we have in the game."
"I don't know. Hopefully I would say we are more than grateful to let the players go to the national team. The law that says we have to give them is a pleasure. I don't know what is going to happen, the pandemic is still there. Hopefully the authorities in Brazil and here have a solution that is perfect for both sides. They need to sit and find a solution for the players and club and federations."
Pep speaks about the Premier League:
"Every year [the Premier League is tougher], the second season is harder than the first one and the third and fourth. There are top quality players. Really tough, an incredible challenge for us. Accept the challenge and we go for it."
"It's a big compliment for the Premier League, they should be provide for the fantastic, brilliant contenders, managers in all the clubs. Top quality players in every squad, 15-17 exceptional players. We have to be here and enjoy the Premier League in this country."
Pep on Chelsea and previous meetings:
"We play a great final [in the Champions League]. We lost, but played a great final. We missed a bit to be more precise in the last part of the game, we lost the second balls because the transitions are so good. They regain the ball and they regain again and make a quick transition. They structure defensively so good, the physicality, the movement, the quality in the short spaces."
"They control all departments which is why it was difficult in the final of the Champions League against an exceptional team. I had the feeling in the game and when I saw it, my impression is we played with a lot of courage with personality but unfortunately we could not do it with the counter attacks, long balls, second balls were not good enough and they beat us."
"A final is completely different, the previous games like in the FA Cup was a final and was a tight game, we lost. In the Premier League it was already done, we were already nearly champions. The Champions League was a massive game. We try to learn, not it's a new competition and we learn for these games."
Pep preparing and previewing the week ahead:
"We prepare the game like we prepare Southampton before and the previous games, try to read what they are and what we have done in recent games against Chelsea. and Tuchel. Every game is a new challenge to improve and learn and be better. It's one more game for the Premier League. Prepare the game from the strong points we have and improve what we have to be better. The mindset we had the last days to prepare this game will be the same against PSG and Liverpool before the international break."
"So nice [this week vs. Chelsea, PSG, and Liverpool], a privilege. With the Ryder Cup. One game at a time. Now we travel to London, after we prepare the next one."
Written by: @coIgcra
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