City’s Focus Sharp: Luton Clash Not to Be Overlooked in Pursuit of Triple Trophy Triumph

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (53) emphasized that his team cannot afford to look past their upcoming match against struggling Luton Town, despite the looming Champions League game against Real Madrid next week.

Guardiola stressed the importance of focusing on retaining their Premier League crown as they host Luton Town on Saturday.

“We have to (focus on Luton Town), the Premier League is so important,” Guardiola said on Friday.

“It’s 11, 10 months we’ve been fighting for the title, we know what position we are in.”

With 70 points and seven games left, third-placed Manchester City find themselves with no room for error. A win on Saturday could propel them to the top of the table, increasing pressure on Arsenal and Liverpool, who currently share the lead with 71 points.

Unfortunately, on Friday, Pep Guardiola couldn’t provide updates on the fitness of Nathan Ake, Phil Foden, and Kyle Walker.

Foden had to leave Tuesday’s 3-3 draw against Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie due to an injury, while Ake and Walker were already sidelined with injuries.

“We’re training this afternoon and then we’ll know better how they feel,” he said.

Brazil goalkeeper Ederson is fully fit and should reclaim his starting spot on Saturday from Stefan Ortega.

City midfielder Rodri has voiced his plea for a rest following their 3-3 draw with Madrid, acknowledging the team’s fatigue amidst their pursuit of three remaining trophies this season.

READ ALSO: Pochettino’s Concerns Grow As Fernandez and Disasi Sidelined Ahead of Crucial Everton Showdown for Chelsea

“Take a look at our games and you realise,” Guardiola said on Rodri’s comments.

“It is simple. He is so important for the quality he gives us. But if you have a player that doesn’t want to play, he won’t play.

“I need to rest the centre halves also but in (England’s) friendly games, (John Stones and Kyle Walker) got injured so they cannot rest. We are in big, big trouble.

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“I had the feeling we were tired in the last games. We will decide tomorrow what we have to do.”

Guardiola was asked what more his prolific scorer, Erling Haaland, needs to do to win the Ballon d’Or this season, especially after finishing as runner-up to Lionel Messi in 2023. Haaland currently leads the league’s goalscoring charts with 19 goals.

“He needs to play more minutes, to learn from what you have to do,” Guardiola said. “But the target is not the Ballon d’Or, the target is to win trophies and he did. Would we have won five trophies last year without him? Not a chance.

“It’s not about Erling or any other player. Until you retire, you can (always) be better.”

City narrowly defeated 18th-placed Luton Town 2-1 at Kenilworth Road back in December.

However, they secured a convincing 6-2 victory against the struggling side in the FA Cup fifth-round clash in February.

After their Champions League quarter-final second leg at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, City will then travel to Wembley three days later to take on Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final.

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