Pep Guardiola wants to ‘smell’ Manchester City desire for Premier League title
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola wants to “smell” his players’ desire to win the Premier League title when they face West Ham on Wednesday.
City completed the first leg of a possible quadruple by beating Chelsea following extra time and penalties in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday, but Guardiola has dismissed suggestions that tiredness could be an issue for his squad.
The champions have reduced Liverpool’s lead at the top of the Premier League to a point with 11 games remaining, with Jurgen Klopp’s side having drawn three of their last four games.
“I want to see tomorrow the desire to really win this title,” Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
“I want to see it. I don’t care the way we play or the other things. I want to smell in the locker room, in the beginning of the game, during the game with our fans, if we really, really, now one competition is over, if really we want to win this title.
“I want to see their faces tomorrow, my players, and maybe after the game I tell you if I saw something special or not.”
City’s Wembley triumph came at a cost as key men Fernandinho and Aymeric Laporte suffered injuries that are likely to rule them out of Premier League action until after next month’s international break.
Guardiola also confirmed that John Stones and Gabriel Jesus, who missed the final, are not ready to return against West Ham, but long-term injury absentee Benjamin Mendy could make his first Premier League appearancesince November.