Premier League: Guardiola to bench important Manchester City player

Rodri is the second outfield player to have played most minutes across Europe’s top-five leagues

By Web Desk
April 12, 2024
Pep Guardiola reacts on the sidelines. — Reuters

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola confirmed that if their midfielder Rodri doesn’t want to play, then he will not as the Cityzens prepare to host Luton Town at Etihad Stadium in the Premier League.

Rodri, widely considered one of the best midfielders in the world, has played 41 matches this, which is the fourth most as he is only behind Arsenal’s William Saliba (42 starts) and the other two are goalkeepers.

After City managed a 3-3 draw against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu in the UEFA Champions League, Rodri stated that he needs rest.

Guardiola has now confirmed that he will not play Rodri as the Spaniard needs the much-needed rest before they host Los Blancos at Etihad on April 17.

"If a player doesn't want to play then he's not going to play, simple," said the Manchester City manager.

"Take a look at our games and then you realise. He's so important for the quality that he gives," added Guardiola, whose side goes into the Premier League weekend third in the table with seven games remaining.

"I have the feeling that the games when he was tired like against Crystal Palace and Madrid, he was better in the second half. He runs more and was more precise in the second half than the first.

"More than the physicality, it is a case of spending mental energy. Playing every three days, three days. Of course he's tired, playing a lot of minutes."

Rodri is a crucial player for Guardiola and it has been 429 days and 66 matches since he last lost a match with his side.

Almost all teams in Europe have suffered from the hectic schedule as teams have to play high-intensity matches every three days and Guardiola stressed that the schedule is getting worse.

"It's getting worse and worse and worse," said Guardiola.