EPL

Guardiola's 700 up – Pep set for landmark as Man City face Fulham

By Sports Desk December 04, 2020

Pep Guardiola will take charge of his 700th game when Manchester City host Fulham on Saturday and he hopes to double that tally before he retires.

The Spaniard's glittering career in management has seen him ply his trade in three countries, winning top-flight titles in Spain, Germany and England.

His pursuit of a third Premier League crown continues with the visit of Fulham, which will also mark his 250th match at the City helm.

The hosts will be without Sergio Aguero (knee) against a team they have beaten nine times in a row by an aggregate score of 27-3.

Guardiola has enjoyed that kind of dominance over many opponents in a coaching career that began with Barcelona B in 2007, and he hopes there is still a long way to go yet.

"Seven hundred games," said the 49-year-old when asked about the milestone. "I will do 700 more then retire. I never expected it.

"It's good to have 700 games with few defeats in these games, for all the players and staff we had in Barca B, first team, Bayern [Munich] and here.

"It's a great number, with all the people we made incredible things together and hopefully we can do more in the future."

In his 699 matches to date, Guardiola has tasted victory 506 times and lost just 82 of those, leaving him with a stunning win percentage of 72.4.

When City last met Fulham in the league in March 2019 it ended 2-0 to Guardiola's men, which is the most common scoreline in his career, occurring 82 times.

Incredibly, his CV boasts four seasons in which his team has scored 100 goals or more, having managed it twice apiece with Barcelona and City.

Guardiola's list of honours includes three titles in LaLiga and the Bundesliga, and two in the Premier League. He won two Champions Leagues at Camp Nou, but has not lifted that trophy since.

Another man looking to enjoy a landmark outing this weekend is Phil Foden, who is primed to make his 50th Premier League appearance.

Guardiola expects to see the 20-year-old go from strength to strength at the Etihad Stadium, describing the England star as "a dream come true for managers".

"We are more than delighted to have him for the academy, the message he can give," he said.

"If you have the skills and especially passion. I love his passion, the only thing in his mind is to be a better player for himself, his club, his national country.

"He is a dream come true for managers. Normally when you become older he loses it, but the first thing he is looking for in training is the ball to play with his mates.

"The first achievement is 50 games, he will play much much more in the future. Hopefully he can have the passion to improve but knowing him it will happen."

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    One of Hamann's major reservations related to Thiago's desire to dictate play and how he might, in the long run, negatively impact Liverpool's effectiveness off the ball.

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    The supply line

    Then there's the concerns relating to Thiago's style of play potentially impacting supply to the frontline. Well, the Reds average 18.7 shots per game when he plays (up from 14.9 without him).

    There is also no damning evidence to suggest Thiago isn't looking to feed the forwards either, after all, he passed to Mohamed Salah 11 times (a joint high) against Manchester United last weekend.

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    "He's not that type of player"

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