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Pellegrini frustrated by fixtures

25 Dec 2013 23:02:03

Pellegrini frustrated by fixtures

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is unhappy with the festive fixture schedulers for making his team play two games in three days when rivals Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea will all have an extra day's rest.

City play Liverpool on Boxing Day and Crystal Palace at home on Saturday, while Liverpool are at Chelsea on Sunday and Arsenal play at Newcastle.

"It's not fair, it should be the same for all teams," Pellegrini said.

"I don't know if the word is ridiculous but playing 46 hours from one game to another is not the best thing for the players - they cannot recover in 46 hours.

"All the teams must have the same rest. Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool all of them play after (December) 26 and 29. And we play 26 and 28."

The assumption of a team of City's calibre would be that relegation-threatened Palace will be dispatched comfortably.

But first Pellegrini's men put their 100 per cent home record on the line in the ninth Premier League fixture at the Etihad Stadium against Liverpool and Luis Suarez.

Uruguay striker Suarez has netted 19 times in the Premier League this season despite completing his lengthy ban at the start of the campaign.

Yet Pellegrini is adamant the battle with the Reds is about more than one man and City's ability to stop him.

"He is in a very good moment," Pellegrini added.

"He has always been a very good striker. But Liverpool is not only Suarez. They are a very good team, it will be a tough game and we hope we can continue winning at home.

"I repeat we are not playing against Liverpool thinking of Luis Suarez.

"We are playing against Liverpool thinking we must repeat what we are doing at home."

To some, Liverpool are a surprise package in the title race. Not for Pellegrini.

He added: "Every team has the chance to win the Premier League.

"The Premier League is not only Liverpool and Man City, Tottenham will continue fighting.

"Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton are playing good football and will fight for the title until the end."


PA

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