Pep Guardiola could be forgiven for having one eye on Saturday’s Manchester derby this week, even before taking on Marseille in the Champions League. Manchester City have an advantage over rivals United in that they have already secured their spot in the Champions League last-16.
Guardiola says he will approach the game seriously to respect the competition so as not to give Marseille any clear advantage in their quest to better Olympiacos’s result at home to Porto.
He said: “I wanted the guys to play 90 minutes and most of them are not going to play Wednesday and the guys who didn’t play today will play Wednesday. I decide to play 90 minutes with these guys and a fresh 90 minutes for the rest of the players. After that we will see the best selection for the next games
“In the Champions League, we did the job. There is prestige as a bonus if we win the match. It will be a serious match, we must respect the competition because Marseille and Olympiacos play for the Europa League. We have to play seriously, that’s for sure. And the players who were on the bench (against Fulham) will be able to play.”
As well as the prestige Guardiola refers to, City would also pocket £2.45m for another group stage win, and £800,000 if they were to draw.