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Pep Guardiola reveals unique preparation strategy for Manchester City's clash with Fulham

Published: Updated: 08:47, 12 May 2024
Fulham's pitch has historically presented additional challenges to teams

Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, has revealed an unusual approach to preparing his team for their crucial match against Fulham. The strategy involves adjusting the grass length at their training ground to mimic the conditions they expect at Craven Cottage.

Guardiola disclosed that Manchester City have been practicing on longer grass throughout the week. This move is in anticipation of a 'high and dry' surface at Fulham home ground this Saturday. The manager compared the turf condition at Craven Cottage to that of Roland Garros, known for its high-bouncing and slow-playing clay courts.

The players trained on this specially prepared pitch last Thursday as part of their adaptation process. This unique preparation method underscores Guardiola’s meticulous attention to detail and his commitment to ensuring his team is fully prepared for every possible scenario.

Guardiola concerned about 'high and dry' turf

Last season, despite securing a win at Craven Cottage, Pep Guardiola expressed concerns about the pitch being ‘so long and so dry’. He warned about the 'massive' difference such conditions can make in a game and emphasized how important it is for players to adapt accordingly.

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City manager, said:

‘Yesterday we trained part of the session with dry, high (grass) to adapt, to feel it,’

‘After we went to normal grass and it’s a massive difference. Massive. It’s completely different. It’s like you play at Wimbledon and then Roland Garros. We have to adapt. The passes have to be stronger.’

In light of these experiences, he has taken no chances this time around as Manchester City continues its quest for a fourth consecutive Premier League title. By replicating these conditions during training sessions, he aims to familiarize his squad with similar environments before they face them in actual matches.

Premier League rules on grass length

According to Premier League rules, grass used during matches cannot exceed 30mm in length. However, it’s worth noting that Guardiola prefers playing surfaces like Etihad Stadium where the grass length is kept around 20mm - significantly shorter than what they might encounter at Fulham's home ground.

This preference stems from how different lengths affect ball movement; shorter grass allows for faster and smoother ball rolls, which suits Manchester City's style of play.

Guardiola's unique preparation strategy highlights the lengths to which top-tier football managers will go to secure a win. By adjusting training conditions to mirror those expected during matches, they aim to eliminate any surprises and ensure their teams are as prepared as possible. As Manchester City gears up for its vital clash with Fulham, fans and sports betting enthusiasts alike will be keenly watching how this meticulous preparation plays out on the pitch.

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