Pep Guardiola confirms ‘special player’ will start on the bench v Bayern Munich

Pep Guardiola confirms ‘special player’ will start on the bench v Bayern Munich

Pep Guardiola has confirmed that “special player” Phil Foden will start on the bench against Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

The youngster has been out since midway through last month’s international break having undergone surgery for appendicitis.

Foden spent three weeks recovering from the surgery before returning to training earlier this week, with the attacker then flying to Germany with the rest of the squad for their meeting with Bayern.

Guardiola confirms Foden on bench

The German giants host Man City at the Allianz Arena in the Champions League quarter-final second leg, having lost the first leg 3-0 to the English side last Tuesday.

And Guardiola’s men will be even stronger this time around given the return of Foden, but the 22-year-old is only fit enough to start from the bench.

“We’re delighted (he is back),” Guardiola said on Tuesday, as quoted by the Man City website. “Definitely it’s good news for us. He has trained just once yesterday but we decided he would travel with us and be on the bench.

“(How many minutes he is capable of) I don’t know. 90 for sure no. But his physicality is special. He is a special player who doesn’t need a lot of training sessions to be fit.”

Man City boss back at Bayern

The match represents a return to Germany and a return to Bayern Munich for Guardiola, who managed the side for three years between 2013 and 2016. The boss won three Bundesliga titles while at the club, and is fully aware of how they operate behind the scenes.

“I’ve been here at Bayern Munich and I know the mentality of this club,” added Guardiola. “It’s everywhere, it’s in the skin. I know they believe they can do it.

“We believe too but when you’re in these type of clubs and we’ll try to build this feeling that whatever happens, we can do it like the history they have in the competition, we’re growing that. It is what it is.”


Guardiola set to rotate?

Guardiola unsurprisingly went full throttle in the first leg at the Etihad last week, which turned out perfectly for the hosts as they eased past Bayern 3-0, with Rodri, Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland among the goals.

The manager will perhaps opt for a similarly strong side from the start once again, but given their comfort in the tie could hand out minutes to those looking to get more action on the pitch.

The potential rotation comes after the Premier League title race blew wide open at the weekend as Man City beat Leicester and Arsenal drew with West Ham.

Just four points separate City and the Gunners, and the former even have a game in hand over the latter. And in a very exciting situation, the two clubs go head to head at the Etihad on Wednesday in a match that may just decide the title.

Young attacker Foden is certain to get minutes at the Allianz Arena, with the likes of Julian Alvarez, Cole Palmer and Kalvin Phillips all eager to join him in getting on the pitch at some point.

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