Premier League: Pep Guardiola and Nuno Espirito Santo criticise festive schedule

Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves have beaten Pep Guadiola’s Manchester City home and away in the Premier League this season

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has called the Premier League’s festive schedule dangerous, while Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo says it is “absurd”.

City host Sheffield United on Sunday less than 48 hours after losing 3-2 at Wolves.

Guardiola said “it is decided and we have to adapt”, but added “the managers and everybody agrees [it’s dangerous]”.

Wolves’ Nuno said: “All the managers and all the players are concerned.”

Wolves, who have completed the double over City this season, face runaway league leaders Liverpool on Sunday and Nuno said never before had he faced two tough teams “with 45 hours between games”.

City play the Blades on Sunday and then Everton on Wednesday, and Guardiola said: “My words are not going to change anything, it is the same every season.”

Wolves will play their 34th game of the season against Liverpool, having been involved in Europa League qualifying since July,

“It is going to be very tough,” added Nuno. “Let’s not think how we are going to do it, let’s rest and recover and then we can think about how we are going to play.

“For the moment it [the schedule] is absurd. There is no explanation, so all the decisions we make will be based on us. How are we to play football?

“It is not only Wolves – it is all the teams.”

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl also voiced his concerns about the top flight’s hectic festive schedule following Saints’ 1-1 draw at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

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“It’s unbelievable,” said the Austrian, whose side beat Chelsea 2-0 on Boxing Day. “We couldn’t prepare anything for this game. I don’t know what this schedule is about.

“We had no sessions to work on anything. Why don’t we just play Thursday, Sunday, Wednesday?

“I know Saturday is a big day for football but it’s not necessary [to play again so soon].”

Guardiola not going to January sales?

Despite conceding the Premier League title race, Guardiola said there would be no new signings at the club in January.

Goalkeeper Ederson was shown a straight red card as the reigning champions played over 75 minutes with 10 men in the defeat at Molineux.

Guardiola said he will “have to evaluate the players” before making any changes for Sunday’s visit of Sheffield United to Etihad Stadium.

“Of course we have to put fresh legs because Sheffield United are so physical as well, but in these conditions, I don’t know,” said Guardiola.

“Honestly, I don’t know how they [the players] are going to recover and how they will feel. We will see.”


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