Manchester City fears over Wembley as build-up to Tottenham clash is far from pitch perfect due to NFL game
- Tottenham and Manchester City meet at Wembley Stadium on Monday evening
- A day earlier the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Philadelphia Eagles play there
- It is feared by City that the pitch could be in a dodgy state when they kick-off
Manchester City fear their Premier League title charge could be derailed on Monday night by a dodgy Wembley pitch — though Pep Guardiola says he will not shy away from fielding his star players against Tottenham Hotspur whatever the conditions.
City’s game against one of their main title rivals will take place at the national stadium 24 hours after it hosts a third American football game in a fortnight.
Kevin De Bruyne, who only returned from a two-month knee injury lay-off this week, has voiced his fears, and there is a mood among City’s staff and supporters that this barrage of heavyweight NFL clashes will leave the pitch in a mess.
Wembley pitch was in a poor condition after Anthony Joshua’s fight with Alexander Povetkin
Fans were disappointed at the state of the playing surface when Tottenham and Barcelona met at Wembley in the Champions League at the start of the month, not long after the stadium had staged Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title fight against Alexander Povetkin.
There was a brown, grassless square around the centre circle and several players were caught out by unkind bounces.
After Sunday’s clash between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Philadelphia Eagles, Wembley’s groundsmen will be busy getting the pitch ready for Monday night, not least the areas to the side where over 50 players, coaching staff and others watch the game. Guardiola said: ‘I’m pretty sure Tottenham have a good greenkeeper.’
The City manager also said he will not hide De Bruyne, despite his return from injury, saying: ‘When they are fit, we have full focus on what we have to do. When you take care properly and focus, knowing that the pitch may not be in the best condition and you have to be ready.’
Former Spurs midfielder and Mail on Sunday columnist Jermaine Jenas believes an imperfect pitch is likely to hinder City more. ‘It probably will be muddy and it might bobble,’ he said. ‘If anything, that will affect City slightly more.’
There are fears that the pitch could be damaged again — by Sunday’s NFL match at Wembley
Source: Read Full Article