18:58pm, August 31st, 2018
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is confident his players will adapt to the task when they face Newcastle on Saturday however the Magpies are set up for the contest by Rafael Benitez.
Newcastle had a 5-4-1 formation for last weekend’s 2-1 home loss to Chelsea and their boss Bentitez was criticised by television pundits for the defensive approach he had adopted.
Ahead of Newcastle’s visit to the Etihad Stadium this weekend, Guardiola was asked about the five-man defence and if he expected things to be similar on Saturday, and he said: “Last season he did it against us away and at home, the same, like Chelsea.
“I didn’t speak with Rafa, so I don’t know.
“We have to adapt. Everything he is going to do is because he believes it’s the best for them to get points, to make a good performance, and we’re going to adapt and try to defend well and attack well against any systems or the way they want to play.”
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He added: “Some teams, when they play against Chelsea for example, against Tottenham, against Liverpool, against other teams, they play in that way, more defensively. But that is not a problem.
“Every team can do what they believe because they know the teams, they know their players, the way they feel that is the best they can do to get points. In the end we are here to get points and the style is just to help you.
“It’s in our hands to solve that. If they decide to play in that way, what we have to do to beat them – that is the trick.”
Defending Premier League champions City go into the clash having last Saturday dropped points for the first time this season as they drew 1-1 at Wolves.
On Thursday, the draw for the Champions League group stage was made, with City going into Group F with Lyon, Shakhtar Donetsk and Hoffenheim.
“It is what it is,” Guardiola, whose side were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Liverpool last term, said of the draw.
“The Champions League every season, from my point of view, is tougher and tougher. So we will see.
“I don’t think about the final right now. It’s in June, we’re in August. That would be a big mistake.
“We just focus of course now on the Premier League, and when it is coming, Lyon, the first game, and try to get points, points and points to go through.”
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