It is fair to say that Pep Guardiola is not happy ahead of Manchester City’s game against Newcastle United on Saturday night.

He should be, as Man City have just won another trophy. They beat Sevilla on penalties on Wednesday night to lift the UEFA Super Cup.

After winning the trophy for the first time in their history, Man City must now quickly turn their attention to Newcastle.

They are going to face the Premier League leaders on Saturday night, with Newcastle making a real statement of intent at the weekend when they beat Aston Villa 5-1.

There is nothing for the Magpies to fear, as they prepare to take on the champions at the Etihad Stadium at 8pm.

Manchester City v Newcastle United - Premier League
Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images

It is a strange kickoff time, and one that has not pleased Guardiola.

Guardiola thanks the Premier League ahead of Man City vs Newcastle

Following the UEFA Super Cup win, Guardiola spoke to the media. He took time to aim a dig at the Premier League for the scheduling of Man City’s game against Newcastle.

“Not one drop of alcohol today, recover as much as possible,” he said.

“Because, again, from Greece – thank you so much to the Premier League for letting us play on Saturday, not Sunday or Monday.”

He has got a point

While the fixture scheduling gives Newcastle an advantage, it is easy understand Guardiola’s point.

The issue appears to be that TNT Sport wanted to cover the game, and they usually occupy the Saturday lunchtime slot. But because of Man City’s game on Wednesday, it has been delayed until the night.

Manchester City FC vs Sevilla FC - UEFA Super Cup 2023
Photo by Nikola Krstic/MB Media/Getty Images

In an ideal world for Guardiola, his side would be playing on Sunday or Monday. But those games are usually reserved for Sky Sports, and perhaps the earlier 12pm slot on Sunday was unavailable too due to the Women’s World Cup Final.

The decisions made by the broadcasters has angered Guardiola, and understandably so. Their preparation for the game is not ideal, and that is something Newcastle need to take advantage of.

The Magpies are under no pressure heading to the Etihad, and will be full of confidence after beating Aston Villa. It is a great opportunity for Newcastle, and one that Eddie Howe will be desperate to seize.

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