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'I follow my fans!' - Guardiola jokes that Man City supporters picked his line-up vs Chelsea

9:03 PM WAT 05/01/2023
Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2022-23
Pep Guardiola joked that the Manchester City fans picked his team for the Premier League match against Chelsea on Thursday.
  • Guardiola made key changes for Chelsea clash
  • Said he is giving fans what they want
  • City in need of win in Premier League title race

WHAT HAPPENED? Guardiola made four changes to the starting XI for headline clash at Stamford Bridge, with Kyle Walker, Joao Cancelo and Phil Foden making their first starts for City since returning from the World Cup. Ilkay Gundogan is also back in the first-team. Guardiola explained his reason for Jack Grealish, Manuel Akanji, Rico Lewis and Riyad Mahrez dropping to the bench.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Everybody asked for this line-up, I follow my fans! We're not going to discover what they mean, they come back from World Cup with niggles, Rico and the other guys have been fantastic," he told Sky Sports.

"Before every game, I'm asked the reason why. Sometimes it's not a specific reason. There are many things. Since I arrive, I'm not a guy who will pick 11 players all the time... If a guy doesn't play all season, it's not nice."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: City are in need of three points heading into this game as they look to cut down on Arsenal's lead at the top of the Premier League. They are eight points adrift of the Gunners but have a game in hand.

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WHAT NEXT FOR CITY? After they take on Chelsea on Thursday, City will come up against the Blues again in the FA Cup on Sunday.