Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insists his players will not go easy on Burton Albion tomorrow night despite holding a 9-0 advantage from the first-leg.
City will travel to the Pirelli Stadium with almost a double-digit advantage after the Premier League champions destroyed the minnows 9-0 at the Etihad but any suggestion that Guardiola will tell his players to ease up have been rebuffed by the Spaniard.
How will Manchester City approach Burton tie? Four things to know…
- Manchester City hit nine past Burton in the first-leg virtually ending the tie.
- City will start Kevin De Bruyne to allow the player a chance to get some match fitness.
- Guardiola has confirmed some players will be rested.
- Some of Manchester City’s young players including Phil Foden will play.
Manchester City will use the game as a chance to get some of their players back to fitness, with De Bruyne the main player being talked about.
Guardiola confirmed that the Belgium international would get some minutes and also that Foden would start the game for City but any suggestions that the Premier League club will go easy on Burton were swiftly dismissed as the Spaniard confirmed he wants his players to find their ‘rhythm’.
“Some players need rhythm and are going to play,” Guardiola told reporters.
“The guys who’ve had a lot of games will rest.
“They will do what they need to be fit, but the ones who’ve not played too much or back from injuries long-term are going to play.
“We are going to play [some youngsters] and some will be on the bench. Two or three will play and two or three on the bench. Kevin is going to play.”
‘Man City have missed Mendy a lot’
News that Benjamin Mendy is close to a return will be music to City fans ears, but Guardiola was tentative about his chances of playing against Burton.
“He’s in the squad, he will travel with us,” said Guardiola. “Maybe on the bench.”
The left-back managed five league assists in nine league games before his injury. This gives Mendy the best assists-per-90-minutes-played rate in the Premier League, excluding players with fewer than three appearances. Watford left-back Jose Holebas is the only defender with more overall.
Guardiola is hoping Mendy can have an impact on the remainder of the season for the Premier League champions, who seek to overhaul Liverpool in top spot.
The Spaniard added: “I miss him a lot, I have the feeling he can give us something extra and hopefully in the last part of the season we can use him.
“He pushes from outside and is unstoppable. in the last third he’s so clever, his crosses, these kind of actions, but in two seasons, he’s played very little.”
Man City currently sit second in the Premier League table just four points behind leaders Liverpool.