Guardiola won’t rest Man City players in Champions League ahead of Liverpool match

The Spaniard says he will pick a strong team for their European clash against Atalanta just four days before a crucial trip to Anfield

Pep Guardiola insists he won’t be resting any of his Manchester City players in midweek ahead of Sunday’s crucial trip to leaders Liverpool.

The City boss has been short of his usual options with David Silva now ruled out of the Champions League match at Atalanta on Wednesday after picking up a hamstring strain in the 2-1 win over Southampton.

He joins Leroy Sane, Aymeric Laporte, Oleksander Zinchencko and Rodri on the injury list, while Phil Foden will miss the trip to Italy through suspension.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp rested Fabinho against Aston Villa with the threat of missing the City game through suspension. 

But Guardiola won’t follow his example by prioritising next Sunday’s game at Anfield despite being five points clear at the top of Group C in Europe.

“Do you think we can win four titles in one season if we prioritise games?” he said when asked about resting players.

“We’re going to play with the best team possible to win at Atalanta and after we go to Anfield.

“Nobody can assure me that if we don’t do what we have to do at Atalanta then we are going to make a better performance against Liverpool.

“The best way to face Atalanta has been the way we played [against Southampton] and the best way to go to Anfield has been to play a good game against Atalanta, who have been fighting with the top clubs in Italy for the last two or three seasons. That has been the point.

“They can score four, five six goals every game so we are going to play with what we believe has been the best team considering the regeneration, the opponents and the way they play, to make a good performance and qualify for the next stage of the Champions League.”

City, who have won just once at Anfield in the Premier League era, remain six points behind Liverpool at the top after both sides pulled off late victories on Saturday.

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Klopp’s side have dropped just two points all season but Guardiola says that doesn’t mean Sunday’s game has been a must-win if they are to maintain a title challenge.

“We are going to try but I don’t think [we have to win],” he said. “How many centuries have they not lost at Anfield? We will see.

“They beat Aston Villa in the last minutes – so there are a lot of games to play. Many things are going to happen and there are a lot of games to play.”



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