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Guardiola to reward players with 'day off in the Manchester sunshine'

by Nydia Hein (2020-11-08)


Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has revealed he has given his players the day off in the sun after his side's 3-0 victory against Olympiacos all but sealed their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

City only require a draw in the return fixture away to the Greek side at the end of the month to confirm their place in the last 16, after making it three wins from three in Group C at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.

The forecast currently says there will be some rare sunshine in Manchester for the next three or four days, leading Guardiola to give his players time to relax before preparation begins for their highly anticipated showdown with champions Liverpool on Sunday.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has revealed he has given his players the day off as a reward for all but sealing a last 16 Champions League place

City only require a draw in the return fixture away at Olympiacos after goals from Ferran Torres (above), Gabriel Jesus and Joao Cancelo saw them to victory on Tuesday

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'I saw the forecast and in the next three days it will be sunny here in Manchester,' Guardiola said after his side defeated Olympiacos.

'That's rare.

So that's why we are going to make recovery [on Wednesday], day off the day after in the sunshine and after that, Friday and Saturday we're going to prepare for the game, so the guys need a break, the players and the staff.'

City maintained their 100 per cent start in Group C with late goals from fit-again Jesus and Joao Cancelo.

Ferran Torres gave City a 10th-minute lead as they made a strong start at the Etihad Stadium but Olympiacos were in the ascendancy before substitute Jesus turned the game decisively in their favour on 81 minutes.

Guardiola will let his side relax before they prepare to take on Diogo Jota and Liverpool

City have been operating without a specialist centre forward in recent weeks and the Brazilian's return gives them greater threat ahead of this weekend's clash with Jurgen Klopp's side.

Guardiola added: 'It was important, of course, the fact he's back.

It's good news, especially for the striker to score a brilliant goal. I'm delighted with most of the game and happy that Gabriel is back.'

The striker himself added: 'It's so good for me. When I got injured, I was so unhappy.

'I worked a lot to recover as quickly as possible, because I wanted to be on the pitch helping my team mates.

They were doing very well so I was happy to come back and score.'

Guardiola also received a boost with the return of Brazilian striker Jesus from injury

Liverpool are also coming into the game in form after thrashing Italian side Atalanta as they similarly took control of their Champions League group following Diogo Jota's hat-trick. 

City ran out 4-0 winners during their last contest with the Reds, who had already been confirmed as champions before the match in early July.

Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden all netted in a devastating first-half display in which they scored three goals within 20 minutes.

But this season, Guardiola's men are sat in 10th and trail the Premier League leaders by five points heading into the fixture. 

Phil Foden was a key part of a devastating City win the last time they played the champions

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