Manchester City in fitness race ahead of Stoke City trip

Manchester City in fitness race ahead of Stoke City trip

Manchester City in fitness race ahead of Stoke City trip

City's last home defeat came in December, 2016 against Chelsea in the Premier League and while this loss can be largely dismissed, due to the weakened side playing a game with little at stake, there will be concern that Guardiola's second string failed to make the most of their opportunities.

City won the first leg 4-0 and unsurprisingly their manager Pep Guardiola chose to leave key players on the bench with none of Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero or goalkeeper Ederson featuring in the game. "I just prefer to play at the weekend, when all the other teams are playing".

City advanced 5-2 on aggregate and became the second English team through to the quarterfinals, after Liverpool from Tuesday.

'What happens in the (Champions League) quarter-finals depends on our level in the Premier League.

"We are very happy to be in the quarter-finals again because that gives prestige", Guardiola said. That's why we have to be focused on what we have to do.

'I know everyone wants to anticipate the situation, everyone is thinking about when we will win the title. Although last season we witnessed Barcelona conjure up a sensational comeback to beat PSG 6-1 in the second-leg, having lost 4-0 in Paris. We need to be focused because Stoke away is always hard.

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"We are going to see the game between Liverpool and Manchester United as a spectator and it would have happened in the distance was smaller". The history from both teams are unbelievable in the 80s, 90s.

City have nearly three weeks without a game after their trip to Stoke, with Guardiola planning to take his players on a short training break to Abu Dhabi. "It's a big game".

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been fined £20,000 and warned about his future conduct by the Football Association for wearing a yellow ribbon in support of imprisoned pro-independence Catalan politicians.

His squad will head out to Abu Dhabi after the Stoke match for a warm-weather training camp before the majority of his squad head out on global duty.

'I don't like to play on Monday because the weekend everybody is involved and when the weekend is over, we have to play, ' Guardiola said.

"Instead of being here where we have been fighting for 10 months or eight months with the weather, we will go there and train the same way but in better conditions". Raphael Wicky's men can draw optimism from their last two away games in the competition - wins over CSKA Moscow and Benfica - with striker Dimitri Oberlin netting in each game.

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