Guardiola fined £20000 for wearing yellow ribbon

When can Man City win the Premier League? It could be embarrassing for Manchester United

Manchester City defender John Stones said he and his teammates were "disappointed" not to have met their usual standards in Wednesday's 2-1 Champions League defeat at home to Basel.

David Silva is expected to be in the squad after missing the Basel match for personal reasons.

The Spaniard said: "I don't like to play on Monday because over the weekend everybody is involved and when the weekend is over, they are like, "the weekend is over, there are no more games", but we have to play".

England's Football Association on Friday fined Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola £20,000 ($27,700) for wearing a yellow ribbon in support of jailed Catalan independence leaders.

And England worldwide Stones, making his second start in six weeks, said he was disappointed by City's lacklustre performance despite a 5-2 aggregate win securing progress to the quarterfinals.

"I think the results of the last games, it doesn't matter if in the Champions League, Premier League or other competitions because they were quite good, so a lot of people try to see us at the same level as Barca, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich, but we still feel like we need to compete with them".

Clive Brunskill  GettyImages
Clive Brunskill GettyImages

City have nearly three weeks without a game after their trip to Stoke, with Guardiola planning to take his players on a short training break to Abu Dhabi.

City lost at Wigan three weeks ago and drew against Everton in August, while Guardiola also suggested the midweek defeat by Basle should serve as a warning to his players.

'I know everyone wants to anticipate the situation, everyone is thinking about when we will win the title.

"You have to be focused because Stoke away is always complicated".

'I don't know if the players can be ready, but we are going to work on that these next few days. "Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling are much better", Guardiola said. Last season City won all three of their Monday fixtures, although two of them were on public holidays on Boxing Day and January 2.

The City manager's deal runs out at the end of next season and he has repeatedly refused to discuss in public whether he will extend it. "My agent has not been in town", Guardiola told Sky Sports News.

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