LONDON, United
Pep Guardiola wants FA Cup replays to be scrapped as the
Manchester City manager prepares for Sunday’s fourth round tie against Fulham.

Guardiola is one of several Premier League bosses concerned
about the damage being done to his players by the gruelling demands of the
English fixture list.

The Spaniard has already admitted he would be happy to see
the League Cup cancelled as a way to ease congestion, even though City have won
the competition for the last two seasons and face Manchester United in the
semi-final second leg next Wednesday.

Aware that a busy period for City would be even more packed
if second tier Fulham get a draw at the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola has proposed
getting rid of all remaining FA Cup replays.

The Football Association abolished them from the fifth round
onwards last term and Guardiola, having seen Manchester United’s Marcus
Rashford injured on FA Cup duty earlier in January, said: “I’m not saying
what the FA has to do. When I said my comment I never expected the League Cup
or FA Cup was going to go.

“What is nice about this country is how you maintain
the traditions. In traditions you can involve some new things to make the
competitions nicer, but all the traditions are there, not just in sport but in
culture and society and that is top. I admire that. 

“The League Cup and FA Cup will be played. But maybe we
could cancel the replays, have less teams in the Championship or Premier

“I tried to be honest and answer the question but I
don’t think about what they have to do, it’s not my business. My business is to
prepare my team better every day.

“When they decide to play these games, and the other
games, we do it.”

City won the FA Cup and League Cup last season and will
target them again with the Premier League title looking out of reach.

City are second in the table but trail Liverpool by 16
points, with the runaway leaders in with a chance of breaking City’s record
100-point tally.

“It can happen. The records are always there to be
broken. We broke it when someone thought it couldn’t be broken,” Guardiola
told reporters on Friday.

“Sooner or later it is going to happen, this season or
in the future. History speaks clearly about that.”

City defender Aymeric Laporte returned to action in
Tuesday’s victory at Sheffield United after almost five months out with a knee

Laporte was badly missed, but Guardiola has warned against
expecting too much of the French centre-back.

“He played a little bit more than 70 minutes for the
first game. He played well but, as I said, he’s not going to solve all the
problems we have,” Guardiola said.


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