Pep Guardiola gives Man City selection hint ahead of Checkatrade Trophy clash against Sunderland

Pep Guardiola has suggested that Man City's clash with Burton Albion will take precedence over the Checkatrade Trophy quarter final against Sunderland.

Friday, 18th January 2019, 3:41 pm
Updated Friday, 18th January 2019, 3:44 pm
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola

City ran out 9-0 winners against Burton in the first leg, leaving Guardiola keen to play a number of youngsters in the second leg on Wednesday night.

With the Checkatrade Trophy quarter final set to take place on Tuesday, City requested it be moved in order for the club's best youngsters to get the chance to play both games.

However, the EFL eventually came to the decision that the game should take place as planned.

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As such, City could field a slightly weaker XI than the one that knocked out Rochdale and Barnsley in previous rounds.

"Sunday’s game [against Huddersfield] is the most important thing right now," Guardiola said.

"After that, we will think about the cup but the first team is the most important team.

"If the first team demands something, the club is always ready [to provide it].

"We are going to use a few players from the second team for the semi-final of the Carabao Cup. I don’t know how many but most of the players need rest and unfortunately they cannot play in both games.

"One game is Tuesday, one Wednesday. They cannot play both.

"They have achieved something good, we demand young players play in adult games but the schedule is the schedule. The federation and there are just 365 days in the year. So we have to adapt."

The EFL made their decision after agreeing that the alternative dates provided by City were problematic.

In a statement released earlier this week, they said: "With no mutual agreement between the clubs, the decision fell to the executive of the EFL,” it said.

“There is a significant amount of sympathy with the position outlined by Manchester City and the fact that the dating of this game could remove one opportunity for the club’s younger players to play in a first team competitive game with the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg the day after.

“The EFL is committed to delivering valuable playing opportunities for young players and would have assisted, if it had been practically possible but the alternative dates all had issues with them.”

“The EFL is grateful for the support of both clubs towards the Checkatrade Trophy and Pep Guardiola’s backing of the Carabao Cup."

On Thursday Jack Ross said he had seen no reason for Sunderland's planned schedule to be disrupted by City's request.

"The only thing I would say is, we plan four to six weeks to advance,” Ross said.

“In terms of our schedule, where we’re at, training wise, when players are off etc.

“As soon as the Newcastle game is finished, my schedule works on the basis that we had the game either the Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

“That’s it. It had always been the case that if we got through, the game would be that week, so it was simple as that for me.

“The noise around it has been irrelevant to me.

“Any dissent about it is really between the EFL and Manchester City themselves.”