Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini believes that Liverpool’s late return from Turkey, which leaves them with limited time for preparation, will give City an advantage over their rivals, when the two side meet on Sunday noon kick off.
Brendan Rodgers already expressed dis-satisfaction before their trip to Besiktas, saying they were left with limited time for match preparation, and the Reds manager will be left frustrated after his side had to endue through an energy draining extra time followed by painful experience of being eliminated through penalty shoot outs.
That’s not all. Liverpool’s misery were further compounded by the derailment of the flight, which was delayed by 90 minutes, resulting the team landing at John Lennon Airport at 4.30am on Friday.
City, in contrast have four days to prepare for this tie. And although they were coming to this fixture after losing to Barcelona in the Champions League, physically the players are expected to be in a better shape than their opposition.
Pellegrini said as quoted by The Guardian: “I think that of course it is an advantage, not a decisive one because I always think the decisive thing is the performance on the day of the game.
“But I have played in the Europa League and when you arrive on Friday it is not the best way to prepare for a game on Sunday – but that is the rules. They are playing Europa League. Maybe another time we prepare worse for the game.”
“You cannot prepare the game because you finish on Thursday night and you must play on Sunday, the players need at least 48 hours to recover,” Pellegrini added.
Chelsea have a chance to close the gap with Chelsea to two points, as the Blues will be in action against Spurs in the league cup final on Sunday.