Manchester City ask to meet PGMOL to discuss lack of player protection


- Reuters picMANCHESTER, Feb 10 ― Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola dismissed former Manchester United captain Gary Neville's fleeting coaching career and sarcastically labelled him a "prestigious pundit" in response to criticism from the Sky Sports analyst.

Neville was among those to question Guardiola's decision, branding it a "joke" to overlook a youngster for a place on the bench, but the City manager will select a full 18-man squad to face Leicester at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

"We will have 18 players on the bench - and Gary Neville can be happy", he said.

The 26-year-old was handed a new six-year contract by City last month, and it's not hard to see why the Premier League leaders were keen to tie him down on a long-term deal.

Meanwhile, Guardiola hopes Riyad Mahrez plays against Manchester City tomorrow after returning to training with Leicester.

He said: "I think it's a joke".

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"Pep said: "(Leroy) Sane no, (Phil) Foden yes, (David) Silva no, (Gabriel) Jesus no, (John) Stones yes".

The Premier League leaders travel to Switzerland for the first leg next week and, asked whether Sane would play, Guardiola replied: "I don't think so".

"But he [Puel] introduced something else". He has also provided 11 assists and produced 66 key passes, more than any other player in the Premier League on both counts. Forget the fact that they've spent so much money. We've only got 15 or 16 players available at the moment, so we need to get through it.

"They are so unsafe with [Jamie] Vardy, [Marc] Albrighton, Mahrez if he plays, with [Shinji] Okazaki. They have a lot of arguments to make problems".

"We love to play football but when you play every three days in three or four competitions, sometimes a break is good for everybody because you come back stronger".

"Hopefully he will come back as soon as possible for Leicester and play at his level".