Man City trio face fitness tests ahead of Stoke trip

City won their first piece of silverware under Guardiola last month when they claimed the Carabao Cup

City won their first piece of silverware under Guardiola last month when they claimed the Carabao Cup

The Spaniard said: "I don't like to play on Monday because over the weekend everybody is involved and when the weekend is over, they are like, "the weekend is over, there are no more games", but we have to play".

A 4-0 win in Switzerland in the first leg three weeks ago made qualification nearly a formality for a team that is 16 points clear in the Premier League and one of the favourites to win the Champions League.

"I said from the beginning if the FA considers I shouldn't wear the yellow ribbon I would accept it but the fact that I wear it or not doesn't mean anything, because the yellow ribbon is always going to be there, whether you see it or not, even if I wear it in the press conference, post-match, it doesn't matter, the situation doesn't change, there are still people in prison in an unfair way".

It is only the second time in the club's history that they've reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League, having made the semi-finals in 2016.

And it was something to savour for Basel, the Swiss champion that has been a scourge of English powers with wins over Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham in European competition since 2011. "But what happens in the quarterfinals, depends on our level in the Premier League".

"We are very happy to be in the quarter-finals again because that gives prestige", Guardiola said. We have to get the points as soon as possible, knowing that we have the opportunity. That's why we have to be focused on what we have to do. "We need to be relaxed, stay calm and think about Stoke City".

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"I don't know if the players can be ready, but we are going to work on that these next few days". The history of both teams is incredible, in the '80s, '90s.

"We have training sessions to decide before the game".

England's Football Association on Friday fined Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola £20,000 ($27,700) for wearing a yellow ribbon in support of jailed Catalan independence leaders. However, the left-back missed the midweek game with a slight muscle injury and could be given extra time to recover.

Catalonia-born Guardiola has not apologised but said he will stop wearing the ribbon during games in order to observe - rather than respect - the rules.

"Instead of being here where we have been fighting for 10 months or eight months with the weather, we will go there and train the same way but in better conditions. We did it last season and we will prepare for the last two months of the season".

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