Pep Guardiola: Eurovision Song Contest has disrupted Man City’s schedule


The Premier League leaders face a crucial trip to relegation-threatened Everton on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola admits the Eurovision Song Contest has given him a headache as he looks to keep Manchester City’s treble bid on track.

The Premier League leaders face a crucial trip to relegation-threatened Everton on Sunday, three days before they host Real Madrid in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final.

City boss Guardiola would have preferred the match at Goodison Park to take place on Saturday, but with Eurovision being held in Liverpool city center that day, this could not be approved for security reasons.

That means Real, who are out of LaLiga title contention and in action against Getafe on Saturday, will have a day more rest than City heading into Wednesday’s clash.

Guardiola told a press conference: “My thought is just Everton, nothing more.

“I’ve been working for the Premier League for eleven months, I don’t want to get distracted by Madrid because I won’t have time.”

“Well, not much, because we’re playing on Sunday – thank you very much. I don’t understand it, but I don’t want to keep fighting for it.

“We have to adapt. It doesn’t matter, I won’t fight the plans anymore.

“At the end of the day we can’t play on a Saturday because of Eurovision or something like that in Liverpool and we don’t have enough bodies to ever handle two important events.”

“Okay, you have to adapt. What can I do? We’d prefer to play on Saturday so we can prepare, but that’s the way it is.

“I’m sure the Premier League wants to help the teams. I don’t think they would be uncomfortable with it.”

Unlike Real, City will not want to let up at the weekend as they look to keep Arsenal at bay in the title race.

City go into this weekend’s games with a clear upper hand, leading the Gunners by a point with a game in hand.

They could face a tough challenge against a survival Everton side who claimed a significant victory by beating European hopefuls Brighton 5-1 in their last game.

Real defender Dani Carvajal has suggested that the intensity of City’s fixtures could benefit the Spanish side – who drew 1-1 with City in Tuesday’s first leg – but Guardiola is confident his players can rise to the challenge.

He said: “Every player is ready to play and give their absolute best.

“I thought a lot about the substitution at the Bernabeu. I opted for players on the bench who are so dynamic – Phil (Foden), Julian (Alvarez), Riyad (Mahrez).

But in a moment when we didn’t need it, we didn’t need a player to increase our rhythm.

“But everyone will be so important, we have a lot of games and everyone is ready.

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