Pep Guardiola has no time for assuming Gary Neville prediction

Date published: Tuesday 17th September 2019 4:40 - Matthew Briggs

Pep Guardiola TEAMtalk

Pep Guardiola was asked for his response to Gary Neville’s claims on Monday Night Football that Man City will not win the Premier League with John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi at the back.

In City’s pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League opener against Shakhtar Donetsk, Guardiola was asked what he thought of the comments, which were prompted by City’s shock 3-2 loss to Norwich on Sunday.

Guardiola said: “No comments what the pundits say. I have a lot of respect for what John (Stones) and Nico (Otamendi) have done. What they have done and will do for our club.

“They are pundits, it’s their job.”

Sunday’s defeat at Carrow Road was the first game since the serious knee injury picked up by Aymeric Laporte and Neville is convinced the absence of the Frenchman will hit City hard.

“Since Laporte came to the club, they [Stones and Otamendi] have played four games together, Pep Guardiola gave up on this partnership 18 months ago,” Neville told Sky Sports.

The stats say that the champions win just 68% of their matches with Stones and Otamendi starting with the pairing conceding more goals per game when they play together than any other City centre-back partnership.

Neville added: “That will cost Manchester City the Premier League, that win percentage, that will mean City won’t win the league. If these two play together at their current rate of delivery of performance, they won’t win the league.”

 

Guardiola was also asked about Jurgen Klopp’s comments that City are the best team in the world.

“In this planet? In earth? Wow. Time to concur the universe?” Guardiola added.

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