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"We are in big, big trouble" - Pep Guardiola comments on Rodri plea for rest

© Reuters
Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola admits that his side "are in big, big trouble" at a vital stage of the campaign.

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola has admitted that his side "are in big, big trouble", with players in need of a rest at this stage of a demanding campaign.

Following Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg against Real Madrid, Spanish midfielder Rodri admitted that he was in need of a rest.

"I do need a rest. Let's see how we speak, how we live the situation. Sometimes it is what it is. I need to adjust. It [rest] is something we are planning, yeah," he told reporters after the 3-3 draw.

Rodri has played just shy of 3,500 minutes for Man City this season, and it is incredibly 66 matches in all competitions since he last lost a game for the club in any competition.

Guardiola has said that he is prepared to rest the Spain international and is also keen to rest others in a similar situation, but he will struggle due to the team's defensive injuries.

Manchester City's Rodri applauds fans after the match on April 9, 2024© Reuters

Josko Gvardiol was a major doubt for the clash against Real Madrid before being passed fit, but Kyle Walker and Nathan Ake both missed out, while John Stones has struggled with injury problems this term.

"If a player doesn't want to play then he's not going to play, simple," Guardiola told reporters when questioned on Rodri's plea to be rested. "Take a look at our games and then you realise. He's so important for the quality that he gives.

"I have the feeling that the games when he was tired like against Crystal Palace and Madrid, he was better in the second half. He runs more and was more precise in the second half than the first.

"More than the physicality, it is a case of spending mental energy. Playing every three days, three days. Of course he's tired, playing a lot of minutes.

"I'd love to rest central defenders but we don't have them. [John Stones and Kyle Walker] got injured so they get cannot rest. We are in big, big trouble. I had the feeling we were tired in the last games. We will decide tomorrow what we have to do."

Manchester City's Phil Foden celebrates scoring their second goal on April 9, 2024© Reuters

How is Man City's squad shaping up ahead of the Luton clash?

As well as Walker and Ake missing out, Kevin De Bruyne did not feature against Real Madrid, with the Belgium international unwell before the contest.

There was also concern when Phil Foden was substituted in the latter stages of the 3-3 draw with a knock.

De Bruyne and Foden are both set to be available for Saturday's Premier League game against Luton Town, though, and Walker has also not yet been ruled out of the contest.

However, it seems more likely that the England international will be back for the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final with Real Madrid next week.

Ake is dealing with a calf problem, and it is unlikely that the Dutchman will be in the squad against Luton, but a return against Carlo Ancelotti's side has not been ruled out.

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Manchester City's Phil Foden celebrates scoring their second goal on April 9, 2024
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