Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Guardiola: Fixture list congestion a 'disaster' for players

Guardiola: Fixture list congestion a 'disaster' for players

City boss Pep Guardiola said after Tuesday's 3-1 home league win over Watford that such a schedule was "not normal" and added: "We're going to kill the players".

With the festive period, which began on December 22, coming to a close on Thursday after Tottenham's clash with London rivals West Ham, Sportsmail takes a look at the injuries that the top-flight clubs are now dealing with as a result of this time frame...

Sunday's 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace, which ended City's record 18-match winning run, tested the character of Guardiola's side. 2, the Citizens host mid-table Watford at Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero hopes to remain with the Premier League leaders until 2020, but said his future was in the club's hands. They control us - but we don't protect the players. "I'm not saying change Boxing Day (December 26) but you can not play at midday at Selhurst Park, come back, celebrate New Year's Eve but are thinking about the game two days later", he said. I have a lot of experience with that. "After two days, it means a lot for us".

Instead, it was his replacement, Spanish global and former Swan Fernando Llorente, who put Maurico Pochettino's well-rested side ahead with a header which was offside. Nearly inevitably, he scored.

Replays showed the striker may have been offside when he scored, and a few minutes later he was incorrectly ruled offside when he was played in on goal.

Llorente had not found the net in the league since leaving Swansea - where he scored 15 last season - in the summer, but he found the breakthrough with a header following Christian Eriksen's free kick.

City face a logjam of 13 fixtures into the new year - just over one game every three days - as they seek to consolidate their lead in the Premier League, reach the League Cup semi-finals and complete their Champions League group games. In their final game of 2017, City had the chance to match Bayern Munich 19 game winning streak against Crystal Palace.

Palace moved up to 14th place, just three off 10th-place Watford, and is much improved under Roy Hodgson since he came in as manager after four games of the season.

Andy Carroll had both goals - including the victor in stoppage time - to lead the Hammers out of the relegation zone.

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