Manchester City having their two-year ban from UEFA competitions lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is unlikely to herald the end of the governing body's Financial Fair Play project. 

After CAS announced their verdict on Monday, under which City must still pay a €10million fine – reduced from €30m – for failing to co-operate with the investigation, UEFA issued a statement to say it remained "committed to the principles" of FFP. 

But what are those, and have they become muddled? The system will remain in some form, but how much of it is worth saving? 

Dr Dan Plumley, senior lecturer in sport finance at Sheffield Hallam University, told Stats Perform News the effectiveness of FFP, which UEFA introduced in 2009, has been mixed even before this potentially landmark ruling. 

"I don't think it'll be the end of FFP. That's slightly premature at this stage," he said. 

"I think it does bring into question some of the wider aspects of the regulations. They have brought about financial sustainability. They have reduced losses in European football. There are figures that support that. 

"But they haven’t done anything really in respect of redressing the competitive balance. They've had really negative impacts on that and there are a lot of statistics that would support that." 

The most booming of those are not hard to spot.

Bayern Munich won their eighth consecutive Bundesliga title this season, Juventus are on course for a ninth-straight Scudetto, while the truncated Ligue 1 campaign saw PSG crowned champions for the seventh time in eight years.

"Even within a basic spend-within-your-means principle, those who are in that elite and earn more get to spend more and continually dominate on the pitch," Plumley said, while acknowledging the tricky balancing act UEFA would have to perfect if they wanted to bring about more equitable outcomes.

"Things around salary caps and wage caps have been well discussed in the past and they are now raising their head again in light of the current pandemic. In principle, they're a good idea.

"But a hard salary cap is a real challenge and the other issue with UEFA here, as we've seen in this case and with the Champions League in the past, is the power play between UEFA and the clubs.

"Some of those clubs are very powerful in their own right. If they don't like what UEFA are doing, then there's always been the threat of a breakaway league."

In the meantime, the CAS verdict hints at a tweak UEFA will be keen to make.

The Swiss-based court said a number of the allegations against City were time-barred under UEFA's own rules, which state cases more than five years old cannot be punished – a fairly obvious flaw when the period spanning 2012-2016 at the Premier League club came into focus after the Football Leaks revelations of November 2018. 

Plumley feels UEFA are likely to make amendments in that regard, but the immediate future for FFP is one fraught with problems as much due to the global situation as a damaging court defeat. 

A softening of regulations and a rejigged monitoring period were announced last month to help ease the financial pressure on clubs brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. 

It is easy to see the challenges of COVID-19 and a failure to make Manchester City's punishment stick as twin factors that could neutralise UEFA's most important lever of financial regulation, without significant adaptation and fresh clarity. 

"It needs a real look at what those regulations are designed to do," Plumley added. "UEFA have never really got to grips with that. 

"The crux of the regulations is whether or not they're designed to look at debt and losses, or whether or not they're designed to stop owner injections to a varying degree. 

"Some of the things around sponsorship deals, stadium infrastructure, youth development – there's always been some workaround on FFP. That's what created a lot of the criticism of those regulations. They're not clear cut within themselves. 

"There may be a call to scrap FFP completely. I think UEFA would like some form of financial control within the game still, but whether that's FFP in its current format, I doubt that moving forward."

Frank Lampard insists he never pinned Chelsea's Champions League qualification hopes on Manchester City not being allowed to compete in UEFA competition.

City were handed a €30million fine and two-year ban from the Champions League and Europa League by UEFA in February due to alleged "serious breaches" of club licencing and financial fair play (FFP) regulations.

But the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled in City's favour on Monday following the club's appeal, meaning the 2018-19 Premier League champions will be able to compete in UEFA competition next season, while their fine was reduced to €10m.

The CAS decision will also have serious ramifications in the Premier League, as fifth-place will no longer be good enough for Champions League qualification, as it had looked set to be with City – who sit second in the table – out of the picture.

Six points separate five teams in the race for the second two spots in the top four, and although a Manchester United win over Southampton on Monday will elevate them to third and above Chelsea, Lampard remains relaxed about the situation.

"I was pretty neutral on it [the City verdict] really," Lampard told reporters ahead of Tuesday's visit of already-relegated Norwich City. "I didn't know much about the case, I just looked at the result of it this morning.

"I don't see beyond the games in hand, we want to win them. I was never pinning my hopes on it, we just looked at ourselves.

"My only concern are the games ahead. We are at a critical stage of the season. We know what is in front of us. We have to try to finish the job.

"We are sitting third, it is in our hands. This morning has just made it clear now and we have to fight for it."

Lampard will hope the visit of struggling Norwich provides some relief and respite for Chelsea, who have been erratic this month.

After enjoying a three-match winning streak after the season's resumption in June, Chelsea have since lost two of their past four, including a dire 3-0 defeat at fellow European hopefuls Sheffield United last time out.

While Lampard says he has tried to not dwell on that loss, he did acknowledge changes are likely.

"Possibly, [but] I don't want to give my starting XI away," he said. "While I have to consider the freshness of the team, we are trying to get the balance of the side as well.

"Sheffield United have taken big teams all the way this year. I won't dwell on the game, it can happen to any team. It's something we don't like, but we are striving to be better and it is important for that.

"I don't have a set way of dealing with it, just how I see fit. I like to watch games back. The players could feel they weren't at their best, we are moving on and we have a positive feeling in the camp.

"If you don't turn up and perform, it doesn't matter about momentum, but having good home form gives us confidence. Norwich - we have to treat them with utmost respect. They can feel unfortunate with some of their results."

Leicester City's shock 4-1 defeat at Bournemouth on Sunday at least ensured Chelsea will remain in the top four regardless of United's result against Saints.

Similarly, on paper the Foxes have the trickiest run-in of the three teams as well, as they have to face the Blades, Tottenham and then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men on the final day of the season.

Manchester City will compete in the Champions League next season after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) lifted their two-year ban from UEFA competitions.

European football's governing body announced the sanction in February, along with a €30million (£27.2m) fine, after finding City guilty of breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.

City swiftly announced their intention to appeal to CAS and that case was heard over the course of three days from June 8 via video conference.

The Swiss-based court found in City's favour, ruling they did not disguise funding from their Abu Dhabi ownership as sponsorship contributions, although the Premier League club must still pay a €10m fine for failing to cooperate with UEFA's investigation.

As Pep Guardiola's faith in his club's bullish stance appears to have been fully vindicated, we take a look at what it means for City, UEFA and FFP.

WHAT WERE CITY INITIALLY FOUND GUILTY OF?

The independent Adjudicatory Chamber of UEFA's Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) found City had "committed serious breaches" of FFP rules "by overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016".

UEFA launched its investigation after a series of articles published by Der Spiegel in November 2018 alleged City had artificially inflated income from sponsors linked to the club's Abu Dhabi ownership. The governing body also stated City "failed to cooperate in the investigation of this case by the CFCB".

WHAT WAS THE CLUB'S RESPONSE TO THE BAN?

Emphatic. City said they were "disappointed but not surprised" by the punishment that emerged from a "prejudicial process" and welcomed the prospect of CAS considering a "comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence" in support of their case.

WHY DID CAS FIND IN CITY'S FAVOUR?

The full written reasons for the ruling are yet to be published, but it seems UEFA have been undone to a large extent by handing out a strong sanction that was not supported by their own rules. "Many of the alleged breaches were time-barred due to the five-year time period foreseen in the UEFA regulations," as the governing body's own statement read on Monday.

Of course, not all of the period 2012-2016 is time-barred, which is where CAS' finding that the claims were "not established" comes in. Overall, it amounts to a resounding victory for City, especially considering what they stood to lose.

WHAT DID CITY STAND TO LOSE FINANCIALLY?

A conservative estimate landed somewhere in excess of £170m when considering broadcast payments alone, while drops in matchday revenue and potential reductions in sponsorship income could have pushed the figure towards £200m.

Such a financial hole would have made recourse to selling star names like Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling an obvious solution. Now, Guardiola can approach any squad overhaul designed to wrest control of the Premier League title back from Liverpool with few complications.

ANY OTHER GOOD NEWS FOR CITY?

Yes. The Premier League's profit and sustainability rules are basically a more lenient version of FFP, allowing losses of up to £105m over three seasons. If UEFA's findings against City had been upheld, this might have become problematic.

Similarly, section J.7 of the Premier League handbook states any team found to have provided a "false statement" with regards to applications to take part in UEFA competitions is liable for punishment. A fine or a points deduction are among the options on the table for that but, again, this is something City no longer have to worry about.

IS FFP DEAD?

UEFA thinks not. "Over the last few years, Financial Fair Play has played a significant role in protecting clubs and helping them become financially sustainable and UEFA and ECA [European Club Association] remain committed to its principles," it said. However, a tightening or reformatting of the regulations feels likely after what amounts to a damaging public defeat.

CAN UEFA APPEAL?

Yes, to the Swiss Federal Tribunal, although the chances of overturning the punishment would be very slim and rely upon proving a procedural error on the part of CAS.

Manchester City's two-season ban from UEFA competitions has been quashed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

In February, the Premier League club were accused of committing "serious breaches" of UEFA's club licencing and financial fair play (FFP) regulations, and handed a two-season suspension.

UEFA's independent Adjudicatory Chamber of its Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) also fined City €30million after concluding they had overstated sponsorship revenues in accounts submitted to European football's governing body between 2012 and 2016.

City have persistently denied wrongdoing in relation to the matter, and CAS found in their favour in a verdict announced on Monday.

"Manchester City FC did not disguise equity funding as sponsorship contributions but did fail to cooperate with the UEFA authorities," read the heading to the CAS statement.

City must pay a reduced fine of €10m for that failure to assist UEFA adequately in its investigations.

CAS found a significant number of the allegations made against City to be "time-barred" and therefore concluded there were insufficient grounds to uphold the ban.

UEFA previously punished City with a €60m fine and spending cap, along with a restriction in their Champions League squad size for the 2014-15 season, after finding them guilty of FFP breaches in May 2014.

"The CAS award emphasized that most of the alleged breaches reported by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the CFCB were either not established or time-barred," said CAS, which will publish its full written reasons over the coming days.

"As the charges with respect to any dishonest concealment of equity funding were clearly more significant violations than obstructing the CFCB's investigations, it was not appropriate to impose a ban on participating in

UEFA's club competitions for MCFC's failure to cooperate with the CFCB's investigations alone."

When their punishment was handed down, City criticised a "prejudicial process" from UEFA and the club was quick to welcome the CAS ruling.

"Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the club welcomes the implications of today’s ruling as a validation of the club’s position and the body of evidence that it was able to present," a statement read.

"The club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered."

Questions will now be asked over the long-term viability of UEFA's FFP model after the outcome of what could come to be viewed as a landmark ruling.

However, the governing body said it remained "committed to its principles" in a statement reacting to the verdict.

"UEFA notes that the CAS panel found that there was insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold all of the CFCB’s conclusions in this specific case and that many of the alleged breaches were time-barred due to the five-year time period foreseen in the UEFA regulations," a statement read.

"Over the last few years, Financial Fair Play has played a significant role in protecting clubs and helping them become financially sustainable and UEFA and ECA remain committed to its principles."

City hold a 2-1 advantage over Real Madrid after the first leg of their last-16 tie in this season's Champions League. The second leg will take place at the Etihad Stadium on August 7. 

Pep Guardiola is yet to take the club beyond the quarter-finals in a tenure that started in 2016.

Manchester City will learn their Champions League future on Monday when the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rules on their appeal against a two-year ban from UEFA competitions.

European football's governing body announced the sanction in February, along with a €30million (£27.2m) fine, after finding City guilty of breaching Financial Fair Play regulations.

City swiftly announced their intention to appeal to CAS and that case was heard over the course of three days from June 8 via video conference.

Pep Guardiola's team have already secured a top-four place in the Premier League this season, and could add the FA Cup and the Champions League to the already-retained EFL Cup.

However, Monday's verdict is likely to have far-reaching ramifications for the club's short and medium-term future.

WHAT WERE CITY FOUND GUILTY OF?

The independent Adjudicatory Chamber of UEFA's Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) found City had "committed serious breaches" of FFP rules "by overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016".

UEFA launched its investigation after a series of articles published by Der Spiegel in November 2018 alleged City had artificially inflated income from sponsors linked to the club's Abu Dhabi ownership. The governing body also stated City "failed to cooperate in the investigation of this case by the CFCB".

WHAT WAS THE CLUB'S RESPONSE TO THE BAN?

Emphatic and bullish. City said they were "disappointed but not surprised" by the punishment that emerged from a "prejudicial process" and welcomed the prospect of CAS considering a "comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence" in support of their case.

IS THIS THE FIRST TIME CITY HAVE GONE TO CAS?

No. The Premier League club tried to have UEFA's investigation thrown out, citing concerns over media reports on developments in the case, citing sources close to it.

In November last year, CAS ruled City's appeal was "inadmissible" because all legal avenues had not yet been pursued. However, the court said the concerns expressed were not without merit and described the alleged leaks from UEFA's end as "worrisome".

HAVE UEFA PUNISHED CITY UNDER FFP BEFORE

Yes. In May 2014, they were fined €60m for FFP breaches, with their transfer spending capped to the same amount for the 2014-15 season, during which then-manager Manuel Pellegrini had to operate with a reduced 21-man Champions League squad.

WHAT DO CITY STAND TO LOSE FINANCIALLY?

A conservative estimate lands somewhere in excess of £170m when considering broadcast payments alone, while drops in matchday revenue and potential reductions in sponsorship income could push the figure towards £200m.

WHO WILL QUALIFY FOR THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE IF CITY ARE BANNED?

The qualification position will drop down to the team who finish fifth in the table – a spot currently occupied by Manchester United.

COULD CITY ALSO BE PUNISHED BY THE PREMIER LEAGUE?

Yes. The Premier League's profit and sustainability rules are basically a more lenient version of FFP, allowing losses of up to £105m over three seasons. If UEFA's findings against City are upheld, their losses might be shown to be excess of this.

A more pressing concern might be section J.7 of the Premier League handbook, which states any team found to have provided a "false statement" with regards to applications to take part in UEFA competitions is liable for punishment. A fine or a points deduction would be among the options on the table.

CAN CITY APPEAL AGAIN IF CAS UPHOLD UEFA'S RULING?

Yes, to the Swiss Federal Tribunal, although the chances of overturning the punishment would be very slim by that stage and rely upon proving a procedural error on the part of CAS.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will announce a decision on Manchester City's appeal against their Champions League ban on Monday. 

The Switzerland-based body will confirm the verdict at 10:30 local time (08:30 GMT). 

City's hearing at CAS began on June 8 and concluded two days later, with proceedings conducted by video call. 

The Premier League club are seeking to overturn UEFA's decision to ban them from European competition for the next two seasons, along with a fine of €30million (£27.2m), after finding them guilty of "serious breaches" of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations. 

City have persistently denied wrongdoing in relation to the matter, which stemmed from a series of articles published by Der Spiegel in November 2018, drawing on information purportedly obtained by the whistleblower Football Leaks. 

"The club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position," read a statement at the time from City, who UEFA said had "failed to cooperate" with the investigation. 

City have already secured a top-four finish in the Premier League this season, which will mean a place in the 2020-21 Champions League if the verdict is overturned. 

Manager Pep Guardiola has repeatedly stated his belief that his club will be cleared, doing so again after Saturday's 5-0 win at Brighton and Hove Albion. 

"I'm confident in the club, I know their arguments and the defence they had," he said. "We have to wait for Monday. I know there are many teams in the Premier League waiting too. 

"I'm confident because we know exactly what the club has done and that will allow us to play in the Champions League next season and to be recognised by everyone that nothing wrong happened." 

In an interview with HLN, star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne suggested he might be happy to stay at City in the event of a reduction to a one-year ban, although a two-year Champions League absence would force him to consider his options. 

"I'm just waiting," he said. "The club told us they are going to appeal, and they are almost 100 per cent sure they are right. That's why I'm waiting to see what will happen. I trust my team. 

"Once the decision is made, I will review everything. Two years would be long, but in the case of one year I might see." 

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel expects a tough Champions League clash against Atalanta, but his focus is elsewhere for now.

Around 5,000 fans were in attendance as PSG thrashed Le Havre 9-0 in a friendly on Sunday.

PSG have been drawn to face Atalanta in the Champions League quarter-finals, but have a Coupe de France final against Saint-Etienne and Coupe de la Ligue decider against Lyon prior to that.

Tuchel said he knew PSG would be tested by Atalanta in Lisbon in August, but he is focused on domestic matters.

"It will be difficult but it's not a surprise because we will play a quarter-final. There are eight teams that want to win this competition. Every team can win their three games," the PSG coach said.

"It will be a very difficult game [against Atalanta], it will be very tough. They have many qualities. We have seen that when they played against Juventus [on Saturday]. It is a balanced and offensive team. It is a very physical team. But now, we can't think about that.

"Our challenge is to arrive in Lisbon with two titles. Now we are going to prepare our game against Saint-Etienne. It's the only game that is in my head right now. Then, we will think about Lyon. Then I think we will have 12 days to get ready for our game against Atalanta. We have to go step by step. The first step will be our game against Saint-Etienne."

PSG will be without Edinson Cavani (free agent), Thomas Meunier (Borussia Dortmund) and Tanguy Kouassi (Bayern Munich) for the remainder of the Champions League after the trio departed.

Tuchel said it made life harder for PSG, but he urged his players to push on.

"I am sad that we have lost three key players for this competition – Tanguy, Edi and Thomas Meunier," he said.

"That makes things harder for us. PSG need qualities and a great squad. But all the players did good [against Le Havre] and we have to keep going.

"We all have good relationships. We are ready to continue. Today was a good start."

Neymar, Mauro Icardi and Pablo Sarabia scored braces against Le Havre, while Kylian Mbappe, Idrissa Gueye and Arnaud Muinga were also on the scoresheet.

Pep Guardiola is feeling "confident" as Manchester City prepare to learn their fate when the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rules on the club's appeal against a two-year UEFA competition ban. 

European football's governing body announced the sanction in February, along with a €30million (£26.8m) fine, after finding City had committed "serious breaches" of Financial Fair Play regulations.

City swiftly announced their intention to appeal to CAS and their case was heard in June via video conference.

Pep Guardiola's team have already secured a top-four place in the Premier League this season, while they could add the FA Cup and the Champions League to the already retained EFL Cup.

Monday's verdict is likely to have far-reaching ramifications for the club's short and medium-term future, but Guardiola is optimistic over the outcome.

When asked if he would be able to sleep ahead of the ruling, Guardiola told reporters: "I'm going to sleep because I can't do anything [about the verdict]. I would love to do something but I can't.

"I'm confident in the club, I know the defence and their argument. We have to wait, I know there are many clubs in the Premier League waiting too, but we are going to wait.

"It was issued a long time ago, maybe 90 per cent of the people on the pitch and backroom staff were not there [at the club], but we will see and respect the decisions.

"I feel fully confident in what the club has done and allowed us to play in the Champions League next season." 

Those Premier League clubs chasing European places will take a great interest in the announcement too, as an extra spot will open up if the ban is either upheld or reduced to cover just the 2020-21 season.  

But Guardiola had nothing to say to those teams, instead focusing again on City and his belief they will be proven to have committed no offences.  

"We wait until Monday and after Monday, what UEFA says, the club will make a statement, and in my press conference I will give my answers, but now I cannot say anything else," he said.  

"We have been second [in the Premier League] again, for six or seven years in a row we are in the Champions League, it's a joy to watch our team, I love my guys, and we are ready for the rest of this season to do our best and I'm confident.  

"I don't know anything about this [the decision of CAS], just a feeling, I'm confident because I know what the club has done and will allow us to play the Champions League next season, and not just the Champions League, but to be recognised by everyone that nothing wrong happened."  

Similarly, Guardiola seemed unconcerned about what it would mean for him personally if City's appeal proved unsuccessful.  

"We wait until Monday, I think [City] will clarify everything in the next month in terms of the short-term future of the club and that's all," he added. "I have the feeling the club support me and that's the most important thing.  

"I have friends being above me in the hierarchy in higher positions than me, and we are incredibly honest. If we can do it, we can do it, if we can't, we can't.  

"I know they try to do the best for the club and that's why we can maintain the standards we achieved in the past, being in the Champions League again, and that's a great news for us." 

Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri agreed with Pep Guardiola's assessment that facing Atalanta was "like going to the dentist".

Sarri's side face a huge test on Saturday when they host Atalanta, who are third in Serie A and nine points behind leaders Juve with seven games remaining.

Manchester City manager Guardiola compared playing Atalanta to going to the dentist, having beaten and drawn with the Italian side in the Champions League group stage.

Sarri agreed with Guardiola's description as he expects a difficult clash against Gian Piero Gasperini's men.

"It's an important moment of the season. Atalanta are not a surprise. They have done really well throughout the season, particularly away from home," he told a news conference. 

"They are a really difficult opponent. Atalanta have been a difficult opponent for everyone for a long time now.

"Guardiola gave the best description of them. It's like going to the dentist. You can end up well but you feel the pain. It's a really difficult team to face."

Sarri will come up against Guardiola in the Champions League quarter-finals if their respective teams get through their last-16 ties.

But the Italian said his focus was on Serie A before a clash with Lyon, who won the first leg of their tie 1-0 in France.

"I am not interested. We have only one goal now – the league. And after the league we have Lyon," Sarri said.

"It's really far away now so we don't have to waste any energy [thinking about it]."

Pep Guardiola has urged his Manchester City players to fight for the Champions League "until the last effort they have in their bodies" after Friday's draw mapped out a devilishly tough route to glory.

The deposed Premier League champions hold a 2-1 last-16 advantage over Real Madrid ahead of the August 7 return at the Etihad Stadium.

The winners of that tie will take on the victors of Lyon versus Juventus – the Ligue 1 outfit 1-0 to the good at the midway point – at UEFA's mini-tournament to decide the coronavirus-impacted Champions League in Lisbon on August 15.

Whichever team progresses from that quarter-final will meet the team remaining from Barcelona or Napoli and Bayern Munich or Chelsea.

"All of us want to try, to be ourselves in the game against Real Madrid, to try to defend really well and suffer the bad moments," Guardiola said ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Brighton and Hove Albion.

"Try to impose our game and our football, try to score our goals and defend the game against Real Madrid. It is incredible what [Madrid] have done in this competition, nobody has done it."

If City finally claim the prize Madrid have lifted on a record 13 occasions, they will do so in unique circumstances heightened by the reality of a trying season on and off the field.

Guardiola's team could be facing up to their final European game for two years next month, if the Court of Arbitration for Sport decides to uphold a two-season ban for contravening UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules. A verdict in the case is due on Monday.

The Champions League, along with the FA Cup, offers the chance to triumphantly salvage a campaign where they meekly surrendered the Premier League title to Liverpool.

This crescendo of events is something Guardiola believes has got through to his players.

"I feel the motivation," he said. "I have the feeling from my players and the club that we have, in the next four weeks, something that is not coming back again.

"Of course, we have the chance to fight but the situation that we have is not coming back again.

"I think the big clubs don't miss these chances to try until the last effort they have in their bodies."

The situation will certainly not come back for club great David Silva.

City's veteran playmaker is set to leave at the end of his contract and, as a World Cup and two-time European Championship winner with Spain, he is seeking the biggest honour to have eluded him over the course of a decorated career.

"David has won everything," Guardiola said. "The World Cup, European Championships with Spain, the Premier League and all the titles you can achieve except the Champions League.

"All of the players want to try but the younger ones, maybe they think they have more chances.

"Maybe David might go back to Europe with another top club and have another chance. But I'm pretty sure after one decade in this club, he will try."

With a top-four place in the Premier League now guaranteed – whatever that comes to mean – Guardiola's main challenge for the rest of the campaign is getting Silva and the rest to next weekend's FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal and the Madrid match in prime condition.

He concedes this is a balancing act but will not shirk from giving Premier League minutes to the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, even if sight of the star midfielder receiving a heavy knock during the closing stages of Wednesday's 5-0 win over Newcastle United caused understandable disquiet among the City faithful.

"That's part of football. The important thing is they are fit," he added.

"We cannot say one or two games, don't play and then come back. Sometimes the players who play regularly are in better condition for the important games.

"Arsenal is an important point but it's important to keep momentum and rhythm to the way we play."

Diego Simeone is not thinking about resting his Atletico Madrid stars ahead of the return of the Champions League.

Atleti were pitted against RB Leipzig in the quarter-final draw on Friday, with the winner of that game taking on Atalanta or Paris Saint-Germain in the last four of the mini-tournament that will be hosted in Lisbon next month.

Simeone's side will secure a top-four finish in LaLiga if they defeat Real Betis on Saturday - with three games remaining they sit six points clear of Villarreal, whom they hold the upper hand over in the head-to-head record.

Despite being so close to guaranteeing a return to the Champions League next season, the Atleti boss is not considering rotating his players.

"Every time we select a line-up, we do so thinking of winning the game. Tomorrow [Saturday] will be no exception," Simeone told the media on Friday.

"It will be a very important game. It is a game which can give us the access to next season's Champions League, which is what we really want and have been looking for and working towards for a long time.

"We will try to be at our best in the game; looking at the training today in order to know who are best for tomorrow's game, which is the most important. And after, we will try to put that in the pitch, the only useful thing."

Having knocked out defending champions Liverpool in the Champions League last-16 and landed in the kinder half of the draw for the final stages, Atletico are considered strong candidates to go all the way.

Simeone does not see it that way, though, pointing to the threat Leipzig pose.

"They are always the same people who either exaggerate or discredit you. As I am trying to escape from extremes, I will only say what I said already after the draw," the Atleti boss said.

"We are going to face a good team with quick attacking players. A team that scores many goals and finished a great season in Germany."

Real Madrid could be without Marcelo for the rest of their LaLiga campaign after suffering an adductor injury.

The experienced left-back sustained the problem during the 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, a game in which he won the penalty that resulted in the decisive goal.

LaLiga leaders Madrid announced in the lead up to Friday's clash with Deportivo Alaves that the Brazilian's injury had been diagnosed as a problem in his left adductor muscle.

While the club refused to put a timeframe on his recovery, media reports suggest they do not expect him to be available for their three remaining league games after the visit of Alaves.

Zinedine Zidane will be without Marcelo for trips to Granada and Leganes either side of a home match against in-form Villarreal.

He is not thought to be a major doubt for the Champions League last-16 second leg against Manchester City on August 7, however.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has confirmed it will announce a decision on Manchester City and their appeal against a Champions League ban on July 13.

The Switzerland-based body will confirm the verdict at 10:30 local time (08:30 GMT) on Monday, it said in a statement on Friday.

City's hearing at CAS began on June 8 and concluded two days later, with proceedings having been conducted by video call.

The Premier League club are seeking to overturn UEFA's decision to ban them from European competition for the next two seasons and fine them €30million (£27.2m) after finding them guilty of "serious breaches" of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.

City have persistently denied wrongdoing in relation to the matter, which stemmed from a series of articles published by Der Spiegel in November 2018, drawing on information purportedly obtained by the whistleblower Football Leaks.

"The club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position," read a statement at the time from City, who UEFA said had "failed to cooperate" with the investigation.

Speaking on Friday, City manager Pep Guardiola said he had faith in the club's chances of success in their appeal.

"I'm so confident because I saw the arguments of the club that next season we will be there [in Champions League]," he said.

In an interview with HLN, star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne suggested he might be happy to stay at City in the event of a reduction to a one-year ban, although a two-year Champions League absence would force him to consider his options.

"I'm just waiting," he said. "The club told us they are going to appeal, and they are almost 100 per cent sure they are right. That's why I'm waiting to see what will happen. I trust my team.

"Once the decision is made, I will review everything. Two years would be long, but in the case of one year I might see."

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero will not recover from his knee injury in time to face Real Madrid in the Champions League, Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

Aguero sustained meniscus damage during last month's 5-0 Premier League win over Burnley and was operated on by Guardiola's preferred surgeon, Dr Ramon Cugat.

A four-to-six-week recovery period appeared to place Aguero in contention for the August 7 second leg with Madrid, which UEFA this week announced was clear to take place behind closed doors at the Etihad Stadium.

City hold a 2-1 advantage over the 13-time European champions but, after Friday's draw paired the winner of their last-16 tie against Lyon or Juventus, they will have to try and seal a place at the final stages in Lisbon without their all-time record goalscorer.

"I told you many times no. [Defintely] no," Guardiola told a news conference when asked about Aguero's prospects.

Friday's draw mapped out City's potential route to glory, with prospective semi-final opponents coming from a quarter-final between Napoli or Barcelona and Chelsea or Bayern Munich. 

Nevertheless, Guardiola insists City must not look past an in-form Madrid who appear set to wrest LaLiga from his beloved Barca's grasp. 

"We play against Real Madrid," he said. "If we think about the next step the kings of this competition, Real Madrid, will put us out.

"There is not one person who knows Real Madrid better than me, their potential and history, and we have to play this game.

"I saw the draw maybe two or three hours after it was made. I’ve got Brighton [in the Premier League on Saturday] and continue to prepare for Arsenal [in the semi-finals of the FA Cup].

"After that, we have two games and a potential [FA Cup] final to prepare for Real Madrid. That's all I have in my mind." 

City's bid for an elusive Champions League crown might be thrown into sharper focus on Monday if the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) uphold their two-season ban from UEFA competitions for violating Financial Fair Play regulations.

Guardiola reiterated his belief that City will be cleared by CAS and, irrespective of the verdict, he does not feel events in a Swiss court room will fuel his players.

"The intention is every season to play in the Champions League as best as possible, it's not about Monday," he said.

"On Monday, I'm so confident because I know and hear the arguments of the club. Next season we will be there and after I will give my opinion and the club will give a statement."

City head to Brighton and Hove Albion looking to snap a run of three successive away defeats in the Premier League.

Guardiola could once again call upon Benjamin Mendy after revealing the left-back sat out matches against Southampton and Newcastle United over the past week due to "muscular issues". 

Real Madrid could face a reunion with Cristiano Ronaldo before a Clasico showdown with Barcelona after Friday's draw mapped out the final stages of this season's Champions League.

There are plenty of pieces to fall into place before that scenario is possible, with Madrid nursing a 2-1 deficit ahead of their last-16 return against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium next month.

The winner of the City-Madrid tie will face the victor from Lyon versus Juventus when the reformatted one-off final stages begin in Lisbon from August 12.

Ronaldo and his team-mates are 1-0 down following the away leg against their Ligue 1 opponents.

Those teams will do battle for a spot in quarter-final one, the winner of which will take on the team to emerge from quarter-final three, which was drawn as Napoli or Barcelona versus Chelsea or Bayern Munich.

Fresh from their domestic double, Bayern are strongly placed having won 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in the initial match, although Lionel Messi and his colleagues have their encounter on a knife edge following a 1-1 draw at Stadio San Paolo.

The other quarter-finals comprise teams who have already booked their spots in Lisbon.

PSG overturned a first-leg deficit to knockout Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16 and face the similarly free-scoring Atalanta.

The winner of that tie will take on RB Leipzig or Atletico Madrid, who overcame respective Premier League opposition in the form of Tottenham and holders Liverpool in the previous stage.

Champions League quarter-final draw in full:

QF1) Real Madrid or Manchester City v Lyon or Juventus
QF2) RB Leipzig v Atletico Madrid
QF3) Napoli or Barcelona v Chelsea or Bayern Munich
QF4) Atalanta v PSG

Champions League semi-finals

Winner QF1 v Winner QF3
Winner QF 2 v Winner QF4

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