"We see about Erling Haaland this afternoon..." - Pep Guardiola pre Fulham Press Conference
Pep Guardiola spoke to the press this Friday ahead of his Manchester City entertaining Fulham at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League this Saturday. The City boss spoke about the fitness of Erling Haaland, Manuel Akanji, Kalvin Phillips, and Kyle Walker, as well as discussing the threats that Fulham pose, and he also spoke on the retirement of Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique.
"He's much better, we'll decide today [if he's available for the Fulham game]. A good step, he starts training. We see this afternoon. We consider himself, his opinion, the doctor opinion, ninety minutes or less minutes, we'll see."
"Manu[el Akanji] is okay, Kalvin [Phillips] and Kyle [Walker are] still not fit."
Another Julian Alvarez start?
"He's so young, at that age you can play every day."
Phil Foden rotation:
"Him and Riyad [Mahrez] and [Jack] Grealish and Bernardo [Silva] and [Ilkay] Gundogan and [Kevin] De Bruyne have [also] been on the bench. Not an issue, many players - [we] have to use them [and] demand the best of them, this has to happen, always has been like that. No player plays because they play. In Dortmund we play to qualify first and [Kevin] De Bruyne doesn't play..."
Haaland in training help to deal with Mitrovic?
"We don't have time [to do that], recovery yesterday, we're tired. Some players who didn't play [against Sevilla] will play tomorrow. The players know, [we have] played them in the past. Long balls to [Aleksandar] Mitrovic, there's a big guarantee we'll lose the ball, prepare for the second one. [He is a] dangerous player, how many goals he score last season [in the Championship]. He's scoring goals, natural, a competitor. Pushes defenders to limits and he's clinical."
Fulham are 7th in the Premier League:
"No surprised at all, see what they did in Championship and [in the] transfer market, [their] manager [Marco Silva] is exceptional. They have a good process in behind. Under pressure can use long balls to [Aleksandar] Mitrovic, or second balls for them. A top, good team, no surprise. Drew against Liverpool and continued that way."
World Cup impact?
"I want to be honest, seeing like I see our players, how they run, compete, in duels, I'm not concerned at all in these last six or seven days together. Next Saturday starts [the] World Cup preparation, or holidays, what I saw everyone is committed to what we have to do."
Gerard Pique is retiring:
"[It] Is a surprising news, he was here in England a young age. After make an incredible career in Barcelona. I wish him personally all the best for him and his family. I know his mum and dad, incredible human being, huge personality. A player for the big games, never miss once or [mis]behave or performance not in the highest level. All the big clubs need these players. [He] won everything for Barcelona and Spain. The time arrives, the future will be bright, he's a smart guy. An honour to be his manager, we spend an incredible four years together."
"[It is] not about comparing [to any Manchester City players], if you compare, someone is always damaged. If you ask me my best full-back as manager, [it] would be unfair because everyone is everyone. Gerard [Pique] is happy, he doesn't get anything and said perfectly 'I don't want to be a footballer, I want to be a Barcelona player'. His dream comes true, it's thirteen, fourteen, fifteen years being there all the time. In the tough moments, the big important games in Champions League or World Cup finals, derbies vs [Real] Madrid. Always there. His career has ups and downs, every player is like that. In his locker room his personality is there and always in the big games."
Written by: @coIgcra
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