Manchester City manager Josep Guardiola is set to rotate a lot in the coming weeks as he thinks his players are not fit enough for the busy schedule to resume the Premier League.
"If you ask me how the team is doing, the answer is: I don't know. We will see it tomorrow," Guardiola said on Tuesday at his digital press conference for Wednesday night's home game with Arsenal, the first Premier League game of City since March 8.
"I think we are ready to play one game. But we have to play again three days later and then again four days later. We're not ready for that. But that applies to all clubs, not just Manchester City."
After the 'corona break' of more than three months, the Premier League starts on Wednesday with the catch-up games Aston Villa-Sheffield United and City-Arsenal. After that, the last nine rounds of play are completed in a six-week period, so clubs usually have to play three games per week.
According to Guardiola, the City players have physically got out of the mandatory break just fine, but he is concerned that there were only three weeks of group training in preparation for the restart.
"That is not enough, but it is what it is. Everyone has suffered during this situation, personally and financially. We have to adapt," said Guardiola, whose 82-year-old mother died in April from the effects of the coronavirus. "It has been a difficult time, but the Premier League has decided that we will play again, so we will play."
Ranking in top Premier League
- 1. Liverpool: 29-82 (66-21)
- 2. Manchester City: 28-57 (68-31)
- 3. Leicester City: 29-53 (58-28)
- Chelsea: 29-48 (51-39)
- 5. Manchester United: 29-45 (44-30)
- 6. Wolverhampton Wanderers: 29-43 (41-34)
- 7. Sheffield United: 28-43 (30-25)
- 8. Tottenham Hotspur: 29-41 (47-40)
- 9. Arsenal: 28-40 (40-36)
View the program and the state of the Premier League