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Guardiola is afraid of Mohamed Salah

By Charles Cornwall

Guardiola is afraid of Mohamed Salah

Guardiola said they will try to win even though Salah is likely to score against them.

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The Manchester City manager said that Mohamed Salah is an extraordinary striker, a real threat whose quality they know, so he didn't want to talk about him when asked if he was worried about the Community Shield match, but we all realised that in his words there is fear of the Liverpool striker. 

Man City take on Liverpool in the Community Shield on Saturday evening, during an unorthodox pre-season that has seen them play just two friendlies so far. Those came on a tour of the United States, with only 21 players featuring across wins over Club America and Bayern Munich.

That is partly due to the small size of Guardiola’s squad, with Raheem Sterling, Fernandinho, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko all departing this summer, but also issues for other players. Chief among those is Laporte, who played more minutes than any other City centre-back last season but will now miss a lengthy period through injury – including the meeting with Liverpool.

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That leaves Ruben Dias, John Stones and Nathan Ake as senior centre-back options, with Stones not having featured yet this pre-season after missing the US tour for an unnamed reason believed to be vaccine status. It stands to reason that Ake will partner Dias on Saturday, as he did against Bayern, though Guardiola has also used Kyle Walker and new signing Kalvin Phillips as out-of-position stand-ins. Whoever starts will come up against a fired-up Mohamed Salah, with Guardiola under no illusions as to the No. 11’s threat.

Guadiola's words

“He’s an exceptional player, an incredible threat, a top goalscorer. We know his quality. We try to win. He can score if we win. We try to win the game, that’s what we’re going to do. I’m not going to say something new about this player, because all of us in this room know him,” he said.

 


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