To be fair, it had been planned before the weekends game. But in the aftermath of Saturdays game it’s necessity was evident. Ppe Guardiola’s side are currently still fighting on all four fronts. Multiple points ahead of second place Manchester United in the League, and only a win over Arsenal away from the League Cup.
The Champions League restarts next week, and then you have the FA Cup. All this, and a growing injury list means players are not being rotated as much as the boss would like. Naming only six substitutes in the Burnley draw the games have seemingly taken their toll on the squad.
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Kevin DeBruyne is certainly one who appreciates the time off. Stating he is going away, and it doesn’t matter where, the Belgian needs to recharge his batteries. When you look at his stats this season, it’s not hard to see why. KDB has played 36 games this season, starting 34 of those. A total of almost 3,000 minutes on the field means he has averaged 83 minutes of game play.
Not far behind him is Fernandinho, who has played, and started, one game less. Clocking up 2868 minutes means he averages 81 minutes on the field. Those two have the most total minutes, but are far from unique.
NIco Otamendi has started, and played 33 games. That is three games less than Kevin, although his total minutes are only 22 less than KDB. Ederson, Walker and Raheem have all clocked up over 2600 minutes over the season. Even David Silva, who has missed time due to family reasons, still has 2160.
This week represents the first time, in a long time, there have been a full seven days between games. With Manchester City’s schedule, and International breaks, the players have been constantly training or playing.
Hopefully well rested, City will hope to get back to winning ways when Leicester visit. From there it’s the away trip to FC Basel in Switzerland in the Champions League. The games already played are now bigger in number than the ones remaining, but certainly the ones in front of us could potentially be some of the biggest in our history. For those, we need our best players, rested and ready to go.