The Manchester City manager says the focus is on securing the Premier League title despite a European rematch with Thomas Tuchel’s side in three weeks
Pep Guardiola says he will not be thinking about the Champions League final when Manchester City face Chelsea at the weekend.
Victory over Thomas Tuchel’s side on Saturday would guarantee City their third Premier League title in four years, irrespective of results elsewhere.
The City boss said too much can happen for both sides between now and the final on May 29 to be using this fixture as an opportunity to prepare.
What’s been said?
“There is not one thought about the final of the Champions League because we don’t have the Premier League in our hands,” the City boss said.
“When we have the Premier League, hopefully tomorrow or in the next weeks, then the focus will be on the Champions League final and everything will be related to that, but I’m such a cautious guy that if you don’t have it you don’t talk about it.
“Saying that, I could say I’m going to think about the final but nobody plays the way Chelsea plays. The way we’re going to play against Chelsea and who is going to play has not been decided.”
The bigger picture
Guardiola played down the importance of either side gaining a psychological blow by beating their opponents, in what can be viewed as a dress rehearsal for the final in Istanbul.
Chelsea have already beaten City in the FA Cup semi-final to deny them a shot at a quadruple, and a win at Etihad Stadium would be their second since Tuchel took over and delay their title coronation.
However Saturday’s clash has added importance to Chelsea as they chase a top-four spot with their place in next season’s Champions League not yet guaranteed.
“First of all congratulations to Chelsea for reaching the final – they put in a good performance against the kings of this competition Real Madrid,” Guardiola said. “If we were playing [the final] in one week or six days, it could be [an advantage] but there’s 21 days and many things can happen.
“The Premier League is so important for itself to think about another competition. We are going to try to play with the players who are perfect for the way they play and the qualities we have to beat them.”