gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); Pep Guardiola says Champions League final not on his mind as Man City host Chelsea – The Zimbabwe Mail

Pep Guardiola says Champions League final not on his mind as Man City host Chelsea

FILE - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: Bernadett Szabo/Reuters
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LONDON – Pep Guardiola says Manchester City’s Premier League clash with Chelsea on Saturday will not have any bearing on the Champions League final between the two sides later this month.

City host Thomas Tuchel’s Blues in the English top-flight knowing that victory will secure their third Premier League title in four years.

The two teams, who also met in the FA Cup semi-finals last month, when Chelsea prevailed, will meet again in European club football’s showpiece match in Istanbul on May 29.

But Guardiola said the fixtures were not connected.

“If we play the final in one week, six days, it could be but after tomorrow we have 21-22 days, so many things can happen,” he said.

“We just focus. Of course it is the opponent we are going to face in the final but the Premier League is so important for itself, not thinking in any other competition.

“There is not one thought about the final of the Champions League because we don’t have the Premier League in our hands. I’m so cautious. I think if you don’t have it, you don’t talk about it.

“When we have the Premier League, hopefully tomorrow, then the focus will be on the final of the Champions League.”

City moved to the brink of the title with victory over Crystal Palace last weekend. They could have been crowned champions on Sunday had second-placed Manchester United lost to Liverpool but that game was postponed after a fan protest.

Guardiola said: “Now it doesn’t depend on anyone else. If we win it is over. There is not one thought on what United are going to do. It is in our hands.”

Reaching the Champions League final for the first time is a huge moment in City’s history but the Catalan said winning the Premier League is his prime focus.

“Always I’ve said the Premier League is the most important title,” he said.

“Financially for the club, qualification for the Champions League is the most important title, maybe, but there is no doubt what is the most important thing.

“Of course the Champions League is so special, it’s nice, but this one means consistency and many things.”