Pep Guardiola worried about Chelsea backlash against in-form Manchester City

City thrashed Chelsea 6-0 in the league earlier in February. (AFP)
Updated 22 February 2019

Pep Guardiola worried about Chelsea backlash against in-form Manchester City

  • City boss tells players Chelsea will be out for revenge after 6-0 thrashing last week.
  • Blues boss Sarri still under threat of the sack after poor run of form.

LONDON: On and off the field Chelsea will have their backs well and truly against the wall when they take on an irrepressible Manchester City side in the League Cup final on Sunday.

Thursday night’s 3-0 home win against Malmo in the Europa League offered some brief respite for under-fire manager Maurizio Sarri but he remains favorite for the chop.

A 6-0 hammering by Manchester City in their last Premier League outing left Chelsea sixth in the table and struggling to claim a Champions League spot via a top-four finish.

Last weekend’s 2-0 home defeat in the FA Cup fifth round by Manchester United saw some of the Stamford Bridge faithful turn on the Italian who admitted afterwards some of his players still do not understand his so-called “Sarri-ball” tactics.

As if poor form on the pitch was not enough, Friday’s announcement that the club was banned from the next two transfer windows because of breaches of FIFA’s rules relating to the international transfers of minors, deepened the gloom.

The week could still end well, however, if Chelsea upset a rampant City and claim the season’s first domestic silverware in what will be the first major final between the clubs.

Should that happen it would be Sarri’s first trophy as a coach compared to the 20 major honors collected by City manager Pep Guardiola who opened his account in England by winning the League Cup last season against Arsenal.

City will be on a high after Wednesday’s 3-2 Champions League win away to Schalke — their 13th victory in 14 matches in all competitions.

GUARDIOLA CONCERNED

While that is a stark contrast to Chelsea’s stuttering run, during which they lost five of their 10 matches before the win over Malmo, Guardiola is concerned that the London club will be stung into action by their mauling at the Etihad.

“I don’t like to play in a short period of time against one team when you have beaten them,” Guardiola, whose side top the Premier League on goal difference from Liverpool, told reporters as a news conference on Friday.

“(Chelsea) are incredible professional players, they are proud and they will do extra (on Sunday).

“In the moment, I was so happy but today, I wish we hadn’t beaten them 6-0!”

City midfielder David Silva will be seeking an eighth major domestic title since joining the club in 2010 and says it is always beautiful to play at Wembley.

“It’s another chance to win a title,” Spaniard Silva, who scored in the 3-0 defeat of Arsenal in last season’s League Cup final, said. “It’ll be tough. They have a lot of quality players up front, so we should take care.”

Guardiola has injury concerns over Gabriel Jesus, John Stones and Fabian Delph, who all missed the victory over Schalke, while he said he is yet to decide whether goalkeeper Aro Muric, who has played throughout the League Cup run, will retain his place ahead of Ederson for the final.

Both clubs will be looking for their sixth League Cup titles on Sunday — a total only bettered by Liverpool.


Floyd Mayweather posts video about heading to Saudi Arabia for talks on Manny Pacquiao rematch

Updated 19 August 2019

Floyd Mayweather posts video about heading to Saudi Arabia for talks on Manny Pacquiao rematch

  • Mayweather, the undefeated 50-0 fighter, beat Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in 2015
  • Mayweather's last two fights saw him in a bout against MMA champion Conor McGregor in August 2017 and rookie Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa

LONDON: Floyd Mayweather released a video on Sunday saying he was traveling to Saudi Arabia for talks on a rematch with Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao.
Mayweather, the undefeated 50-0 fighter, beat Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in 2015 and it looks like the Kingdom could host the second bout between the two.

In the video, Mayweather said: “It’s an honor to come to Saudi Arabia to sit down with you guys to talk about the Mayweather vs Pacquiao rematch. Saudi Arabia — Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather — I’m on my way.”
Mayweather's last two fights saw him in a bout against MMA champion Conor McGregor in August 2017 and rookie Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa on New Year’s Eve, the latter not counting toward his professional record.
There has been no official announcement from Saudi authorities.