Observer on Saturday - - Sport -

MANCH­ESTER Manch­ester City’s play­ers do not ap­pear to share Man­ager Pep Guardi­ola’s con­cern about a con­gested fix­ture list as they pre­pare to host Burn­ley in the third round of the FA Cup to­day.

Guardi­ola is wor­ried that City have more matches than they can cope with as they com­pete for suc­cess in four com­pe­ti­tions.

His side played nine matches dur­ing De­cem­ber and face at least seven dur­ing Jan­uary – if they reach the fi­nals of the Cham­pi­ons League, FA Cup and League Cup, they will have played a min­i­mum of 63 games by the end of the season. Guardi­ola said af­ter Tues­day’s 3-1 win over Wat­ford, a re­sult that main­tained City’s 15-point lead at the top of the Premier League, that English foot­ball’s busy Christ­mas and New Year sched­ule was “go­ing to kill the play­ers”.

Yet mid­fielder Fer­nand­inho and goal­keeper Eder­son have both said they are happy to be play­ing so many games, and would gladly face Burn­ley this weekend, even though their man­ager is con­sid­er­ing changes to keep se­nior play­ers fresh.

“I spent New Year’s Day at home with my child and my wife, and I was fresh,” said Fer­nand­inho.

“We will see what Pep is go­ing to do but, for sure, ev­ery player is go­ing to be ready if he needs them to play.

“We are here, we are pro­fes­sional, and I don’t like to rest.”

Eder­son is likely to be re­placed by Clau­dio Bravo, who has fea­tured in all of City’s League Cup ties this season, but the Brazil goal­keeper in­di­cated that he is ready to play too.

“All the play­ers like to play games, so it is great we have so many matches,” he said. “Also, the team are play­ing re­ally well. “We had an amaz­ing month in De­cem­ber.

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