Premier League

'No ice baths!' Guardiola believes lack of recovery will lead to player injuries

Premier League stars face a hectic schedule to finish the league as quickly as possible

1:45pm on Wednesday 17th June 2020
Martin Macdonald

Pep Guardiola believes his players are more likely to pick up injuries between now and the end of the season, due to the lack of recovery period between games, as well as usual recovery measures being banned.

After three months of no competition, the Premier League returns on Wednesday as Guardiola’s Manchester City side take on Arsenal - their first match of four in a hectic 12 day period.

The Spaniard doesn’t see the amount of games as a problem, but rather that players won’t have the same facilities to recover in between, which could lead to injuries.

“We cannot use the ice baths – it is not allowed!” Guardiola smirked when talking to the media before the Arsenal match.

“So, I don’t know now. We are going to do the best for them, take care of them, try to organise and do the best facilities for the players to be fit.

“But you know the other leagues, the last minutes, how they suffer, the players, to arrive in the last minute and how difficult it is to recover and play the other game.

“The problem is not to play one game, the first one, even the second one. It’s with the lack of recovery, you have to play another game with a lack of physical training or physical condition or being prepared.

“That is a problem. But we have to adapt so there is not another issue, pray a little bit and be lucky that our staff, me, myself as a head coach, try and take the right decisions about the players who believe they can play more minutes than the other one. That is the main target of this period.”

As for playing behind closed doors, Guardiola believes the players can channel the feeling of playing in front of no spectators when they were kids, and simply try to enjoy the football.

“When they were little kids, they play in the school, in the square, in the street without spectators, they play good in that period so that is what they have to do,” he suggested.

“It’s a football game – try to follow a little bit what we thought, what they know because we didn’t change much in these three weeks about what we have to do. That’s all. This is the idea to adapt in the situation and just play football.”

Man City are currently second in the Premier League, but are a huge 25 points adrift of Champions-elect Liverpool, who could be crowned champions this weekend if Guardiola’s men are defeated by Arsenal on Wednesday.

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