Christ­mas Day off for Pep’s busy stars

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT -

CITY play­ers will have Christ­mas Day off as Pep Guardi­ola looks to pre­pare his play­ers for the fes­tive fix­ture slog.

The Pre­mier League cham­pi­ons face the tough prospect of play­ing six­th­placed Wolves and fifth-placed Sh­effield United in­side 48 hours af­ter Christ­mas.

Hav­ing rested up yes­ter­day, City are back in train­ing to­day and to­mor­row be­fore hav­ing the evening of Christ­mas Eve and Christ­mas Day off. It is then back to the train­ing ground to pre­pare for two tough fix­tures.

Only Wolves, Le­ices­ter, Bournemout­h and New­cas­tle have less than the 46 hours and 15 min­utes that the Blues have be­tween their games fol­low­ing the TV sched­ul­ing.

Guardi­ola joked af­ter Le­ices­ter that he per­son­ally had writ­ten a let­ter of thanks as he ex­plained the plans.

“I wrote a let­ter to the Pre­mier

League to say thank you and we are go­ing to the fridge af­ter Wolves to get ready for Sh­effield United,” the man­ager said.

“We are train­ing on the 23rd and 24th. The night of the 24th is off, 25th off, then 26th train­ing and 27th we have Nuno’s team.”

Kevin De Bruyne will look to con­tinue his strong form over the Christ­mas pe­riod.

“The first game is okay, the other one - I don’t know what to do. We’ll see how every­body feels af­ter 48 hours,” he said of the fes­tive sched­ule.

“Nor­mally it would be im­pos­si­ble to play, but it’s the sched­ule and we just have to find a way to man­age but we’ll see what hap­pens.

“Hope­fully every­body feels al­right for these two games, but ob­vi­ously we’re go­ing to have to change a few play­ers.”

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