Pep Guardiola fears the hectic Project Restart schedule will lead to a glut of Premier League injuries.
And the Manchester City manager, whose side take on Arsenal at the Etihad on Wednesday, believes his squad is not physically prepared for the packed fixture list that now faces them.
He said: “We are ready to play one game but three days after that and four days after that? We are not ready.
“You can play a game after three weeks on holiday but we spent two weeks on the sofa doing nothing much. That is why the players are not fully fit.
“We have been back three weeks and a bit … it is not like in Germany where they had five. We know it is not enough but it is what it is.”
Guardiola is planning to make full use of the new allowance of five substitutions but he warned: “Even with that there will be a lot of injuries – that is my feeling.”
With his team twenty-five points behind leaders Liverpool, he has long since conceded the title.
And it is clear Guardiola, who lost his mother to Covid-19, still has doubts about the wisdom of restarting the Premier League and believes it is driven solely by finance.
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He said: “The health of the people is important but, at the end, the Premier League – like in Spain and Germany but not in France, Holland and Belgium – decide we have to play and we are going to play.
“You have a feeling that the economic damage for all the clubs was huge and you have to do it to reduce the economic damage as much as possible.”
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