Manchester City return to winning ways against Watford

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola claims the congested festive fixture schedule might "kill" his Manchester City players and has urged the Football Association to "think a little bit" more about their welfare.

Manchester City saw its record 18-game winning run in the Premier League ended with a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace on Sunday, with the leaders dealt a further blow with injuries to Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne. Over the past month City's players have been subjected to the sort of challenges reserved for the so-called golden era of the hatchet man.

Guardiola fielded his strongest possible lineup at Etihad Stadium, taking no chances after the slip-up against Palace two days earlier and with a trip to Liverpool up next in the league.

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Sergio Aguero made it 3-0 midway through the second half, and there was a consolation goal for the small band of travelling Watford fans when Andre Gray netted eight minutes from time. “Putting aside what he spends for players, at Bayern all you hear about is players saying how much that he [Guardiola] improved them. It's not basketball or tennis, the players need recovery.

Jesus later wrote on social media: "Thank God it is not very bad and I won't have to go through any surgery". We can not stay in four competitions winning every three days at that intensity. "The people come here to watch the players and enjoy their performances - not the managers in the press conferences or the journalists who write about the game". The results have been incredible as the Citizens are playing like the best team in Premier League history.

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David Silva is likely to return to the squad after a few days off for personal reasons and John Stones and Fabian Delph are once again available for selection.

Aguero also said "everything's fine" when asked about his relationship with Guardiola.

"We're going to kill the players". He's free to stay or leave, it depends.

"It doesn't matter if we drop a lot of points because he is not here. Some days he will be here, some he will be out, it depends how his family is".

'They are the ones who say you have to go or have to stay, so I'll respect whatever they tell me'. We are happy, we try to do our best and I think we did it.

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