Pep Guardiola: Premier League wins can give Man City momentum for Champions League final

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola targeting momentum-enhancing wins over Brighton and Everton to steel his side for May 29 Champions League final against Chelsea; Guardiola made five changes to City side for win over Newcastle but Ederson and Kevin De Bruyne could face Brighton

Pep Guardiola has defended his decision to make eight changes
Image: Pep Guardiola has already wrapped up the Premier League title for Manchester City

Pep Guardiola says the best way his Manchester City players can prepare for the Champions League final is by winning their final two Premier League games of the season.

City have 12 days until they play Chelsea in Porto in their first European final for more than five decades and face Brighton and Everton in that period with the Premier League silverware already secured.

With the league title achieved, Scott Carson was given his City debut in goal as one of five changes for the 4-3 win over Newcastle as the strength of Guardiola's squad depth was illustrated in a seven-goal thriller which also saw winger Ferran Torres score a hat-trick while playing as a centre-forward.

Ederson will return in goal for the game at Brighton on Tuesday night, for which Kevin De Bruyne will also travel as City bid to build momentum for their huge season-concluding match in Portugal.

"We will have six days to prepare for the final after the Everton game so then we will go into the details, now we prepare for the Brighton game like we have done all season," Guardiola said.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City's win over Newcastle in the Premier League

"By preparing the best way we can for Brighton, we are preparing in the best way for the final. So I'm pretty sure we won't be prepared for the Champions League final if we don't prepare well for Brighton and Everton.

"It's just about focus. I haven't thought for one second about Chelsea. We have to be focused about Brighton and winning that game. That's the best way to arrive in the final.

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"Then for the last five or six days, we will be focused about what we have to do against Chelsea in the final.

"We had two days off [after the Newcastle game] and I told the players to go and be with their friends and their families and not think about football.

"After that, the players are very focused and I don't doubt they will be totally committed to winning the last three games of the season."

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Regarding De Bruyne, who has missed City's past two games through injury, Guardiola said: "Kevin is important like everyone else is important and everyone knows this.

"We will look at his levels in the next two games and make a decision about if he is ready to play in the Champions League final."

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