Guardiola hoping for Man City momentum

The Citizens will look to start up again against Stoke City after an International Break

Guardiola hoping for Man City momentum
Guardiola pictured at his presser (photo: Getty Images / Victoria Haydn)

Table toppers Manchester City host Stoke City on Saturday in the Citizens' first match since the International break. Manager Pep Guardiola met with the assembled press at City Football Academy on Friday to talk about the clash.

Quality Opponents

When asked about Mark Hughes' side, Pep was quick to bring praise to the Potters, especially their attacking forces. 

“They have quality up front with Xherdan Shaqiri, Jese and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting​," he said.

"They can do whatever they want – long ball with Peter Crouch can be unstoppable. We have to defend in our box."

Last season City failed to take all three points when Stoke visited the Etihad, as the Potters kept Guardiola's men to a nil-nil home draw. 

“It will be a tough game,” the Spanish manager said. “They are so defensively well-organised.

"They have Darren Fletcher and Joe Allen too and a good goalkeeper. They have a well-organised back five and they are so defensive.” 

Momentum

Pep stressed that he hopes the international break does not stop City from continuing to play their best football since his arrival.

“We had good momentum before the international break. Will we take that momentum or maybe we won’t be focused? We will see.

"It was important to keep our momentum before the International break and it is important to continue it tomorrow.”

Injury Update

Sergio Aguero, who suffered broken ribs in a car accident before the break, could be involved against Stoke.

“He did his first training session after what happened,” Guardiola said. “He did it quite well. Hopefully, as soon as possible he will be back."

Although he is not 100% fit, the Argentine striker, who missed Argentina's qualifies against Peru and Ecuador, returned to full training with the squad on Thursday.

“Maybe. Today, in the last training session, we are going to see. He is not 100% but he recovered quite well."

When asked about the status of club captain Vincent Kompany, Guardiola offered little information about when his centre back could return to fitness.

“He is much, much better but still injured. Hopefully, it is the last part. It depends on him when he will come back."

Alexis?

When asked about recent reports of a possible January signing of Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez, Guardiola seemed to brush it off but offered a bit of hope for City supporters.

"The transfer window is closed now, we will see if we can add in January.

"We are in October, we will see," Guardiola added.