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Wembley pitch will not affect my team selection – Guardiola

Wembley pitch will not affect my team selection – Guardiola

Pep Guardiola insists the state of the Wembley pitch will not affect his selection for Manchester City’s Premier League clash with Tottenham on Monday.

The match comes the day after the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Philadelphia Eagles at the national stadium and there has been concern about what the condition of the surface might be.

Spurs had originally hoped the game would be played at their new stadium but, with that not yet complete, an alternative had to be found.

Guardiola accepts the solution is not ideal but will not hold back any players, including Kevin De Bruyne, who only made his first start after two months out injured in midweek.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, the City boss said: “It’s what it is. I’m pretty sure Tottenham have a good greenkeeper.

“I’m pretty sure the Premier League don’t like it, Tottenham too, but hopefully Tottenham can finish the stadium as quickly as possible. It’s not necessary to complain, we have to adapt quickly, try to figure it out. It will not be perfect but we have to adapt and play in that way.”

Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, right, is only recently back in action (Martin Rickett/PA)

Asked specifically about De Bruyne, Guardiola said: “When you have full focus on what you have to do you avoid injuries. Normally injuries happen when you are not 100 per cent focused.

“When you take care of yourself properly and focus, knowing that the pitch may not be in the best condition and you have to be more ready than ever. We are going to take a decision which is the best line-up.”

The return of De Bruyne after a knee problem has given Guardiola more options in a squad that is already in outstanding form.

Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero were among the players who sat out Tuesday’s Champions League victory at Shakhtar Donetsk and Guardiola admits that was harsh.

Manchester City v Arsenal – Premier League – Etihad Stadium
Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, left, and Leroy Sane were both left out in midweek (Martin Rickett/PA)

Guardiola said: “It’s always a problem because I am unfair. Guys who don’t play deserve to play. It’s always like this.

“When they are training in a bad way they are out of the selection for themselves – but this doesn’t happen. It will be tough, I will be unfair.

“But they are professionals, they know what it is. When they are not selected they are not happy, after the game they are not happy.

“But they have to come back happy for the training session. They have to be happy – no other solution.”

Guardiola will not be afraid to get tough with players who do not respond in the correct way.

He said: “If they have bad faces, bad moods or want to show how disappointed they are, they will have a big problems because they are not going to play.

“I understand completely, but the day they come back to training, the next game is here and they can convince me. But they are quite good, they are amazing professionals.”

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