Pep Guardiola is 'praying' his Manchester City players return from the international duty fit and well as they prepare to take on Liverpool after the break.
City surged into the semi-finals of the FA Cup on Saturday after beating Championship leaders Burnley while Jurgen Klopp's side were given the weekend off. The Reds were due to play Fulham in the league, but the London outfit had FA Cup commitments of their own.
Reigning Premier League champions City are eight points behind Arsenal in the title race, but do have a game in hand while Liverpool are seven points off fourth spot.
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Liverpool are now not back in action until Saturday, April 1 when they face the daunting task of taking on a City side in much need of a win at the Etihad.
After beating Burnley, Guardiola spoke of his plan before taking on the Reds: “It is what it is. For me, it’s perfect as I will go to Barcelona and Abu Dhabi so it’s perfect. I pray that no-one comes back with an injury. I said to the players – come back fit. You know exactly what you need.
“You work here every day with our incredible staff and backroom staff. What you need to be fit, you need to do it in the national team and, hopefully, the managers take care of the players as much as possible.
“The week now is rest, go with the national team, come back and three days to prepare for Liverpool and we will see what happens next.”
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