Man City V Huddersfield at Etihad Stadium : Match Preview

By
28 February 2017
Man City V Huddersfield - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Pep Guardiola pleased after meeting Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour

Pep Guardiola is pleased with how his first meeting with Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour went - but is well aware he needs to deliver.

City took advantage of a free weekend to travel to Abu Dhabi for a warm-weather training camp last week and spent time with the ambitious club's hierarchy during the trip.

It was the first time Guardiola had met with the sheikh, whose largesse has transformed City in the past nine years, since the Spaniard's much-heralded arrival at the Etihad Stadium last summer.

Guardiola said: "With (chairman) Khaldoon (Al Mubarak) we speak regularly - the last period he came often here - but the other people we met for the first time, (including) Sheikh Mansour.

"I was really impressed that he knew absolutely everything about us. It was nice to meet him and spend a few hours together.

"But they know, we know, all the managers and owners know, that we are here because of the results. If the results are not good we are going to be replaced by another. I replaced another manager."

A Premier League title in Guardiola's first season now seems unlikely with City 11 points behind leaders Chelsea, albeit with a game in hand.

But their Champions League challenge is still alive having beaten Monaco 5-3 in the first leg of their last-16 tie last week.

They are also still in the FA Cup and host Sky Bet Championship high-flyers Huddersfield in a fifth-round replay on Wednesday.

Captain Vincent Kompany is still troubled by a leg injury and has been ruled out of the clash despite initial hopes he would be fit.

The Belgian, who has endured an injury-plagued campaign, has been out since the first encounter against the Terriers on February 18.

"Not tomorrow," said Guardiola when asked at his pre-match press conference if the 30-year-old would be fit. "He is much better but not ready."

Asked when Kompany might return, Guardiola said "soon" and that he "definitely" could play a full part in the remainder of the season.

Guardiola also said he was still to decide who would play in goal. Willy Caballero now seems to have taken over as first choice due to the failure of Claudio Bravo to make an impact since controversially displacing England number one Joe Hart earlier in the season.

Caballero has played four of the last five games, with Bravo playing in the game at Huddersfield.

Guardiola said: "I have to think about it - not just with our goalkeepers - for the line-up.

"I have to think about it after the training session. I am not thinking about who is the first one, who is the second one. We are going to decide game by game."

Huddersfield head coach David Wagner will watch the match from the stands as he starts a two-match touchline ban.

Wagner was banned by the Football Association on Monday and fined B#6,000 for improper conduct after joining his players on the pitch to celebrate Town's late winner in the recent derby clash with Leeds.



The German was pushed by opposite number Garry Monk on his way back to his dugout and that altercation prompted a mass melee between both clubs' players and coaching staff.



Huddersfield and Leeds were each fined B#10,000 for failing to control their players - Monk will serve a one-game ban and was fined B#3,000 - and Wagner said he did not agree with his own punishment.



"So many things happen in this world which I don't agree with and don't understand," he told a press conference.



"I'm happy I'm still able to be in the country and that they don't send me out.



"But I have to accept it and go forward and we shouldn't make it bigger than it is.



"I'm able to be with the group before the game and at half-time and some managers like Steve McClaren, they watch from the stands every game.



"So it's a new experience for me. I have no idea how it feels."



Wagner remained upbeat about his side's trip to the Etihad following the two sides' goalless draw at the John Smith's Stadium.



He said it was "a great occasion" and that he felt "humbled" Town were still in the world's oldest cup competition.



Huddersfield have lost only one of their previous 18 games in all competitions and are the closest challengers to the Sky Bet Championship's top two, Brighton and Newcastle, in the race for automatic promotion.



Wagner maintained though that Wednesday's replay was not a distraction.



"The feeling is the same as 10 days ago to be fair," he said. "We were able to transform this positive feeling into a good performance and this is what we hope we can do again.



"It's an extraordinary occasion, which everybody can be excited about and we should transform this into a good performance."



Defender Christopher Schindler will play no part after sustaining a knock in Saturday's draw at Barnsley, on-loan Aaron Mooy is ineligible to face his parent club and striker Nahki Wells (ankle) is doubtful.



Fellow midfielder Kasey Palmer (hamstring) is still out, but otherwise, Wagner hopes to have a full-strength squad to choose from, with winger Sean Scannell (ankle) and Harry Bunn both back in training.


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