Pep Guardiola has hailed the work of Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea, naming him as one of a select group of managers he regularly learns from.
Man City will be facing off with Chelsea on Saturday in a 12:30pm kick-off. It will be a crucial game in the Premier League title race. City are already 10 points clear of their closest challengers Chelsea.
Should they defeat the European champions, like they did in the reverse fixture, they would have a hand on retaining the trophy.
But it is never that simple and Guardiola knows he must prepare for a challenge. And in the opposite dugout, there will be Tuchel for him to outwit – a manager he greatly respects.
Guardiola said of his counterpart: “So creative. One of the few managers I learn constantly from, to become a better manager myself. Excellent in all departments.
“I enjoy since in Mainz and Dortmund, always I enjoy watching his teams and the approach.
“He makes world football better. He always wants to be positive in the way they play.”
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Guardiola is expecting Tuchel to adapt again to avoid a repeat of their meeting at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season. Chelsea failed to register a single shot on target during that match.
The former Barcelona and Bayern boss knows all about how good teams must evolve. As such, he is prepared for what Tuchel may throw at him.
Guardiola added: “He didn’t like the way they played at home so they are going to play a different way.
“Seeing the Liverpool game and Spurs, I saw at Chelsea that they were completely different to what we played in Stamford Bridge.
“Football is every day. The best games were in the last few days.
“Football is constant evolution. You have periods where you play good, the key is to sustain that for as long as possible.
“Tomorrow we face the European champion. An excellent team.”
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He said so in the wake of a number of Covid-19 cases that have halted Chelsea’s consistency over the past couple of months. City, in contrast, have not had any games postponed due to the virus recently.
But Guardiola confirmed they have their own positive cases among the group. He would not reveal their identities, though.
The manager said: “Some people are coming, some people are positive again. When you have tested once, twice negative you come back. Otherwise not.
“We have some new cases but they want privacy, so I cannot tell you.”
He also denied Tuchel’s belief that City have not had similar issues to other clubs with relation to player availability.
Guardiola responded: “We had a lot of cases and a lot of injuries. We played Aston Villa with 11 first-team players and in the last six or seven games there were four or five Academy players on the bench.
“We are in the same situation as all other clubs. Maybe injuries are bit less because our medical department have been exceptional but, in terms of Covid, we have had a lot, like all clubs.”