Pep Guardiola says he doesn’t ‘understand’ Manchester City’s fixture scheduling – but he’s beyond fighting it.
City will face Premier League leaders Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday, just over 72 hours before they face Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final second leg.
Real Madrid will play a La Liga match against Getafe on Saturday, thus getting an extra day of rest.
“It is what it is,” said Guardiola.
He said one of the problems that meant their trip to Everton took place on a Sunday was that Liverpool were hosting the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday.
The Spaniard added: “In the end, we can’t play on Saturday because of Eurovision or something in Liverpool and we don’t have enough bodies to deal with two important events sometimes.
“I can’t understand it but I won’t fight it anymore.
“Okay, you have to adapt. What can I do? We’d prefer to play on Saturday so we can prepare but that’s what it is.
“I’m sure the Premier League wants to help the teams. I don’t think they make it uncomfortable.”
Sunday’s trip to Merseyside is a crucial game for both sides of the Premier League, with City looking to maintain their lead over Arsenal at the top and 17th-placed Everton battling to avoid relegation.
City drew 1-1 with Real in the first leg In the semi-finals on Tuesday, and with his place in the Champions League final on the line next week, Guardiola says the focus is firmly on Toffees taking on Sean Dyche.
“My idea is just Everton – nothing more,” he said.
“It’s 11 months in the Premier League. We don’t have much time for that [prepare for] Madrid because we play on Sunday – thank you very much – but it’s a real priority, Goodison Park.”
After Everton, City’s last league matches will see Chelsea face home and Brighton away before finishing the season at neighbors Brentford in west London.
Although City have a game in hand, Arsenal are just a point behind Guardiola’s side at the top of the table.
Guardiola believes Arsenal will “definitely” win their remaining matches – against Brighton and Nottingham Forest Wolves – but the City manager insists his side must not depend on others’ results.
“There are four Premier League games left and it’s really important to be there and keep our fate in our hands,” he said.